Good news from Bad journalism

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A few weeks ago Newsweek released their semiannual edition where they smear the Bible and Christianity and God and pretty much everything else that can fit into that category.   It happens twice a year: Easter and Christmas.

In the article, the author, Kurt Eichenwald, goes on to make all sorts of outlandish claims like the Bible we have isn’t the real Bible, or not all the biblical writers “were even fully literate” (think about that one for a minute), or the King James Versions is the “gold standard.”  Seriously?

The gist of the article is this: you don’t know anything you think you know about the Bible.  And we’re here to tell you: we know that for a fact.

Really.

Is it okay to ask Eichenwald–whose field is writing about financial corruption and political scandal, not biblical historicity–why his opinion should trump scholars who actually study these things?

Maybe that’s too finicky.  And really, I’m not even sure it matters.

The Bible can stand for itself.  And it does.  Long before Newsweek‘s festive tradition of smearing all things holy began there have been scholarly works detailing the validity of the Bible.   If you’re interested in this, send me a comment below or shoot me an email, and I’ll send you some good references.

While Eichenwald says nothing positive about the Bible, I do believe there is some positive that comes out of his article.  Like the old mantra, bad press is good press.

Eichenwald, as many others have done, goes to great lengths to not show any of the positive case for the Bible–great lengths which must include wearing a set of blinders so big I imagine they need their own stand just to stay wrapped around his eyes.  This is hardly journalism.  But the amazing thing is that Eichenwald is usually a competent journalist.  That he must go to such great lengths in this special case to undo his training shows up as strong support that what the Bible actually says is true.  Paul writes that “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing” (I Corinthians 1:18).  This verse goes on to say that the very same facts to believers are “the power of God.”  It’s not that the facts have changed, it’s how the facts are viewed.

Journalism is about presenting both sides of the facts.  Eichenwald doesn’t even come close to that in his article.  What makes an otherwise good journalist go intellectually and investigatively limp on these special occasions?

Who knows.  I’d just be speculating about him if I said otherwise.  And while I can’t speak to his motives, I can speak of my own experience.

I know what it feels like to see yourself face to face with God’s Word.  Countless times I’ve found myself reading a passage when the Lord has unexpectedly cut through all my arguments and posturing, to reveal something about myself that I need to change, or that I need to do.  That’s the way God works.  His Word is alive and well, as alive and well as he is himself.  And through his Word, he convicts, corrects, and teaches (II Timothy 3:16-17).

So while it’s painful to see someone handle such special things with such irreverence, and while it’s annoying to see someone who knows better do a bad job, it’s also good.

It’s good because God’s good news shines through still.  It’s good because it again puts what truly matters in the spot light–albeit kicking and screaming sometimes.

God’s word says that we are dying and all that we’re doing to fix it isn’t helping.  The thing about pride is that it’s always hard to swallow.  Even after it’s been cut into little pieces.

But swallow we must, if we want to live.

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