The Year of the Bible

I just heard that my state’s House of Representatives passed a resolution last week, declaring 2012 to be the “Year of the Bible.” This is a surprise to me, although I have to admit that I haven’t taken the time to find out a lot about Pennsylvania’s legislature in the 6 years or so since I moved here. The resolution refers to the Bible as “the word of God” and recognizes “our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.” It has a couple of other parts that will likely prove very controversial in the debate over the separation of church and state, but my interest is in the notion that our nation ought to apply the Bible’s teachings. In future posts, I hope to explore the idea by looking at specific biblical texts and the feasibility (or lack thereof) of implementing what they teach. I don’t expect to find a lot that can be directly implemented in our society without an awful lot of reinterpretation. My guess is that the good lawmakers of the Keystone State aren’t fully aware of what the good book actually says.

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2 comments
  1. Dr. Bruce Wells, The story of the Garden of Eden is interesting. It does appear to indicate the rise of humankind to know good and evil because their eyes (intellect) will be opened. The Catholic Church has a lot to say about our human (eyes open) conscience. St.Paul (Rom 2:14-15) observed the unbaptized Gentiles had the law of good and evil written on their hearts.
    Okay so all humans have their individual conscience. My question is the current RCC institution has collectively lost their conscience by failing to protect children.
    Can you help a 77 yr old cradle Catholic with a BS degree from sju understand how this happened and how to live with it. Thanks, Craig W. Eiser, Sr.

    • Dear Craig – That’s a very hard question to answer. You’re right that the Catholic Church has a lot to say about the conscience. What has happened in the church in terms of the abuse scandal is a horrible tragedy, and I don’t have any good explanation for it. One of the best things I’ve read on it is in Peter Steinfels’ book, A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America. I would recommend chapter 2 (“The Scandal”) and chapter 7 (“Sex and the Female Church”). Steinfels is able to provide some perspective that I found helpful. He doesn’t answer all the questions that one might have, and he doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to live with what happened. But he does provide what I think are some useful insights on the scandal and on the church in general.

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