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Banned Questions About the Bible Paperback – March 31, 2011


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Banned Questions About the Bible + Banned Questions About Jesus + 10 Things Jesus Never Said: And Why You Should Stop Believing Them
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Product Details

  • Series: Banned Questions
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chalice Press (March 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827202466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827202467
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #688,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I've never seen a book quite like this. You've heard the expression "pooling ignorance" but this is the opposite: pooled brilliance. Your thinking will be deepened by interacting with these sharp minds. --Brian McLaren (brianmclaren.net)

This book isn't just entertaining and fascinating. It's inspiring and potentially life-changing. Here's my own question: Can you be curious and thoughtful about religion and NOT read this book? My answer: No --AJ Jacobs (ajjacobs.com)

What this book may do for you is provide an opportunity to ponder anew questions people are really asking about the Book we Christians call God's Word. --Scot McKnight (patheos.com/community/jesuscreed/)

I've never seen a book quite like this. You've heard the expression "pooling ignorance" but this is the opposite: pooled brilliance. Your thinking will be deepened by interacting with these sharp minds. --Brian McLaren (brianmclaren.net)

This book isn't just entertaining and fascinating. It's inspiring and potentially life-changing. Here's my own question: Can you be curious and thoughtful about religion and NOT read this book? My answer: No --AJ Jacobs (ajjacobs.com)

What this book may do for you is provide an opportunity to ponder anew questions people are really asking about the Book we Christians call God's Word. --Scot McKnight (patheos.com/community/jesuscreed/)

From the Author

Why a book about Banned Questions?
 
When I was younger, I had a Bible thrown at my head during a Sunday school class for asking too many questions. Granted, I was probably even more provocative than your average adolescent, but I really did have a lot of legitimate questions about God, my faith, Jesus and the Bible.
 
The message I got at the time was that church isn't the place for such questions.
 
Seriously? If we can't ask the tough, keep-you-awake-at-night questions within our faith communities, then what good are they?
 
I left organized religion behind for about ten years, until I found a place where my questions not only would be heard and tolerated, but also respected and wrestled with. Beyond that, the good people at Chalice Press had either the nerve and/or the lack of judgment necessary to offer me a book series to help others struggling with these same questions.
 
In these pages you'll find fifty of the most provocative, challenging or otherwise taboo questions that many of us have wondered about but few have actually asked. I assembled an incredible team of respondents to offer their views on these hard questions. Their responses range from the personal to the profound, and from sarcastic to deeply touching. I'm deeply grateful for each of them, and for their commitment to sharing their hearts, minds and experiences.
 
The goal of this book is not to resolve these difficult issues once and for all, but rather to open up an ongoing dialogue that allows us all to talk more openly together about what we believe and what we don't, and perhaps more important, why we believe it.
 
I strongly believe that any faith worth claiming should stand up to rigorous examination, and should also be open to change over time. I hope that this collection is one step in your continuing journey as a person of faith, whatever that may look like to you.
 
If you enjoy this book, be sure to check out Banned Questions about Jesus, the second book in the Banned Questions series, due out in fall, 2011. And if you have questions you'd like for me to consider for future editions, or if you think of a topic for another Banned Questions book, write me at cpiatt@christianpiatt.com and tell me about it.
 
Christian

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Customer Reviews

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Make us think, man!
Dubious Disciple
There are liberals and evangelicals, though the evangelicals are for the most part moderate and not overly conservative.
Robert Cornwall
Our Sunday School class is using this book, and we are thoroughly enjoying the discussion!
KSharun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Pueblo Reader on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am thoroughly enjoying this book. Christian Piatt has compiled an interesting group of 16 great communicators (including himself) to answer questions that I think most people want to ask, but don't or won't. The responses to the various questions include historical facts along with uniquely personal views of each writer. The 1/2 to 1 page answers are brief but powerful. Reading only one person's answer to one question can fuel an individual contemplative quiet time or a full blown discussion with friends/family/church members. AND it is funny. I genuinely like this book and am looking forward to Mr. Piatt's next book; sign me up!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cornwall on April 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
BANNED QUESTIONS OF THE BIBLE. Banned Questions Series. Christian Piatt, et al. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2011. 216 pages.

Is it impertinent to ask questions of the Bible, especially regarding possible contradictions, sexual ethics, or the biblical vision of God? Many would say yes to this question, but Christian Piatt and a team of writers that he gathered up, have taken up the challenge, and we are the beneficiaries of their work, which if we take it seriously, will help the church become a safer place for people to wrestle with questions of faith. In Banned Questions of the Bible the writers don't attempt to resolve all the questions, but rather they hope to provide a starting point for our conversation about the places in our lives where the Scriptures touch.

The book consists of fifty questions, many of which are provocative, though I wouldn't say that this is true of every question. The point isn't to raise controversies, but to wrestle with difficult issues and passages of Scripture, including such issues as translations, canonicity, interpretation and authority along with issues such as human sexuality, politics, and salvation.

Piatt, who is a writer/editor and an active leader in the church his spouse pastors, invited a group of writers to address the fifty questions, drawing from clergy, seminary professors, writers, and lay leaders. There are liberals and evangelicals, though the evangelicals are for the most part moderate and not overly conservative. There is a good balance of males and females, though as far as ethnicity, that is more difficult to gauge as there are no pictures of the writers! Overall, the writers are younger, but even here there appears to be variety.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Bailes on June 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Questions - they scare many and provoke most. Questions have a way of illuminating and invigorating our world. Within religious contexts questions have often times been turned away as heretical. Simply put, questions strike at power dynamics. Questions democratize power and issue opportunities for authentic religious engagement.

So, yes, as I read through the answers to Banned Questions I smiled often. As one who studies theology I'm not going to agree with every answer, that's a given. Yet I appreciate fully the candor and honesty with which these ministers and scholars answer these questions. Whether one agrees with their conclusions or not, you will find invigorating answers and possibilities for deeper discussion.

After all, isn't that what American Christianity lacks? Do we not lack questions that dig deep into our humanity? Christian Piatt pulls out the banner for questions and raises it high - and then he provides answers.

As Piatt says in the Introduction, "I left organized religion behind for about ten years, until I found a place where my questions not only would be heard and tolerated but also would be respected and wrestled with....The goal of this book is not to resolve these difficult issues once and for all, but rather to open up an ongoing dialogue that allows us all to talk more openly together..."

The Modern world has said there's right and wrong, and every idea can be divided between those two categories. Questions subvert that issue, and yet they do not advocate any particular answer. We can learn more about faith, about the world, if we are willing to ask questions that poke, prod, and tease our inner selves. They are there, and it is high-time the Church in America cease the repressive act of oppressing questions.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dubious Disciple on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Hey, I think this new Banned Questions Series by Christian Piatt and acquaintances is gonna work! I'll also be reviewing the next one in the series, Banned Questions about Jesus, though I haven't yet broken its cover.

Piatt's MO is to collect a number of uncomfortable questions, typically issues that we would feel awkward about discussing with our pastor, and then pose the questions to contributors. These contributors appear to represent several stops along the sliding scale of Christian beliefs, but so far as I can tell, each is quite learned in Biblical studies or contemporary religion. Some are more conservative than others, but all are thoughtful.

Can we be Christians if we don't believe the Bible is perfect? Does the Bible condone slavery? Did God really write the Bible? Why bother reading the Old Testament? Why does God appear to change his mind?

Some of the Bible's commands just don't make sense to us today. Should we really be concerned about the Old Testament's dislike of same-sex partnerships when it also says eating shrimp is an abomination, and so is wearing mixed fabric? We don't get our cotton-blend panties in a bunch whenever we go to Red Lobster. Today's times are different, and we are in the process of outgrowing our prejudices. Leviticus 19:20 says that it's OK to doink a slave girl as long as she hasn't been freed and you feel pretty crappy about it afterwards (alright, I think probably this contributor was paraphrasing), but I doubt anyone today agrees that this law is representative of a moral society. The point is, the Bible begs for thoughtful interpretation, not mindless following.

As such, don't expect all questions to be answered to your satisfaction. Religion just doesn't work that way, does it?
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