Tuesday, November 4, 2014


The book is good. I'm almost finished with it, and I liked it. It is funny in parts, insightful in parts, and moving in parts. The writer does get some of the details of the Bible wrong. He messes up Nathan's story to David about the stolen Lamb wrong, makes it seem like Moses just did what God told him to do without question, and he takes some liberties with some stories that are just not warranted. But most of the time, he gets the Bible more or less right. For most of the book, he seems to attempt a straightforward if pithy and funny account of the stories as they actually are, without too much interpretation.

That is, until he gets to Paul. Much of what he writes in Paul is his own INTERPRETATION of what Paul says, and I think he gets Paul wrong, in the overall. Pauline Biblical theology is tough, and so it is no surprise that he goes off in a bad direction with it. Paul leaves a lot of room for interpretation, so the writer can be forgiven for doing a lot of interpreting, I think. He includes some of the funnier and more disturbing stories, but he leaves the funniest stories out. He doesn't mention the Talking Donkey of Balaam, the argument between Abraham and God over Sodom and Gamorrah, the search for a companion for Adam among the animals, Moses argument with God, nor Gideon's argument with God. The author is so good with humor, I ACHED to know how he would've approached these stories, and was disappointed not to find them.

That all said, the book is good. I read through it quickly, and it was fun because I know the Bible. I would NOT recommend the book for someone who hasn't read the actual Bible because it would really lead them astray at some points. For me, it was fun, funny, and entertaining. And critiquing the accounts and theology were good intellectual exercises.

Some great quotes from the book

Genesis: "In the beginning, God was lonely. So, he made the same mistake as a lot of men who live alone: he decided to go out and meet people."

Exodus: "When the Pharaoh saw all these Israelites living in Egypt, he thought, 'Holy S*&t! We've got an illegal alien problem.'"

Numbers: "God decided to channel his anger into more positive activities, like hobbies. It was around this time that God got bit by the real estate bug."

1st Chronicles: "When David was King of Israel, God wasn't having to constantly bail Israel out the way he did in the old days. So God refocused his considerable free time and energy on his new hobby: scrapbooking."

The Book of Acts (Intro): "It was easy for people to love Jesus Christ. He told great stories, he healed the sick, and chances were good that when he visited, he'd leave you with some free fish. Christ was easy. CHRISTIANITY was a pain in the ass."

The Book of Acts: "Nobody matches the zeal of a new convert, or gets as much done as someone who doesn't know what they're doing. [Paul] had both those things going for him."

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