Tuesday, October 01, 2013

O'Reilly, Scripture, and "Killing Jesus"

I have to begin by saying that I have not yet read Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly's new book, "Killing Jesus." So I can't fairly give a whole lot of comment on what it says in its entirety. However, Bill has been doing the media circuit to publicize the book of late, including this interview. And it's on the basis of what he is quoted as saying in the interview that I'll make my comment.

There has always been a serious difference between the Catholic Church and conservative, evangelical Protestants such as myself on the authority of Scripture. And I think that's where Bill may run into trouble with a few when his book is read by them. You don't make statements such as "The Holy Spirit led me" to do a book like this, and then in the next breath, say that your book differs from biblical accounts because you "don't believe it happened that way based on evidence." The evidence Bill presents as evidence is debatable. He seems to forget that the biblical accounts of Jesus were recorded by eyewitnesses, or by those who knew directly those who had been eyewitnesses. I saw him argue last night that there couldn't have been anyone around to hear Jesus make his statements from the cross because the people were kept away.

Sorry, Scripture says otherwise. Not only did you have Roman guards there, you also had the Apostle John and Jesus' mother Mary on the scene. John was given verbal directives by the Lord on the care of Mary.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I'll take Scripture's account first. To deny it, you also have to deny the plenary inspiration of Scripture by the Holy Spirit, a Being in Whom Bill says he believes.

One more thing. He says this wasn't intended as a "religious" book. Any time you take up a major world religion and write about the most central figure in that religion, you're going to have to run headlong into the religious. When I say that, I am talking about religion by the most general definition. As evangelicals, we typically say that Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship. I would agree. But for purposes of communication to an unbelieving world, sometimes you have to use the labels.

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