My Interview with Beyond the Box Podcast from the Wildgoose Festival

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

UPDATE: Brian McLaren's new book Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? has a rather controversial chapter in it that deals with wrestling with violence in the Bible.

The main arguments and exegetical arguments in it are based heavily on my Sojourners article where I show how Paul dealt with violence in the Old Testament, and propose that we should read our Bibles the same way.

In this podcast I discussed that article, while I was at the Wildgoose Festival and got a chance to sit down for an interview with Raborn Johnson from the Beyond the Box podcast:



Listen at Beyond the Box Podcast

Download on iTunes

Download Mp3 
(right-click to download)


Ray and I actually got to  spend a lot of time just hanging out together after that interview with Michael Hardin, Brad Jersak, and Kevin Miller, having these really wonderful in-depth conversations together where we would all just completely lose track of time, and our necks would all hurt from nodding so much.

If you are not familiar with Beyond the Box you really should check it out (and not just because yours truly is there). They have tons of really awesome interviews that I have really enjoyed listing to, so check it out!

Here it is in iTunes

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5 Comments:

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Penny Murray said...

Derek, loved this interview. I've listened to it twice already. Can't wait for the book to come out.

 
At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Derek said...

Thanks Penny!
By the way, the "pong! pong!" noise in the background was two guys playing nurf tennis next to us :)

 
At 6:35 AM, Blogger Penny Murray said...

Derek, While I was listening to the interview, I would occasionally think about how I very much struggle as a parent in teaching my children about the Bible, especially in dealing with the violent depictions of God in the OT. Would love to see you do a blog post on that topic. :)

 
At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Derek said...

Good question Penny!

The OT has many competing narratives, and not all of them are good ones. So I think we need to choose which stories we read to our kids, and be clear what the message should be that we want to convey to them (we need to ask: "does this reflect Christ"?).

It drives me nuts that so many people think that if they take a horrible story of genocide (like Noah's Arc) and use cartoon characters on flannel board to tell it that it is somehow now child appropriate. As a result children's church tend to focus on the OT and not the NT because the OT lends itself better to art projects and activities. I remember one time we were upstairs learning about love of enemies, and down stairs the kids where learning about David and Goliath and had made these paper rocks that they had all practiced throwing at a tall adult. Thanks a lot Sunday school teacher for teaching my kids to throw rocks at people they don't like. Brilliant. It took us a while to help them unlearn that lesson.


The Bible is a "rated R" book, that is, it often has material that is not child appropriate, and certainly little kids need us to help them draw the right message out of a complex and adult text like the Bible. The simple answer to this (which I honestly tend to do with my kids) is: stick to the NT. The more complex answer is to sift through and find the stories in the OT that reflect Christ.

Frankly, as Christians, the NT is where we should be focused, and it is absurd that the adults focus on the NT while children's programs are focused on the OT, mainly because of arts and crafts projects.

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Penny Murray said...

Derek, Thank you so much for this very thoughtful response. This is exactly the direction I've been moving in with my children, but as someone who grew up in your stereotypical conservative evangelical church environment, it feels quite radical. I don't know if you are familiar with Peter Enns book, "Telling God's Story," But it also argues for a focus on Christ, especially in the early years, not not taking these violent stories and attempting to turn them into children's lessons with a "moral" and craft. ( http://www.amazon.com/Telling-Gods-Story-Parents-Teaching/dp/1933339462 )

 

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