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The Human Faces of God: What Scripture Reveals When It Gets God Wrong (And Why Inerrancy Tries To Hide It) Paperback – January 1, 2011
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--Dale C. Allison, Jr.
author of Constructing Jesus
The Human Faces of God is one of the most challenging and well-argued cases against the doctrine of biblical inerrancy I have ever read.
--Greg A. Boyd
author of The Myth of a Christian Nation
I learned so much from this book that I can strongly encourage anyone who is seeking to move from simplistic proof-texting to a comprehensive understanding of the Bible to read this book carefully.
author of Red Letter Christians
This is must reading for Christians who have agonized over their own private doubts about Scripture and for others who have given up hope that evangelical Christians can practice intelligent, moral interpretation of the Bible.
author of Liberating Paul
[W]ith the help of this book, we may discover that the Bible when we read it in all its diversity and vulnerability does bring healing words to those who keep listening.
author of Embodying the Way of Jesus
Stark's book effectively demonstrates how the Bible, in practice, is the most dangerous enemy of fundamentalists.
--James F. McGrath
author of The Only True God
Stark provides a model for theology that is committed to hearing the voice of the victims of history, especially the victims of our own religious traditions.
--Michael J. Iafrate
PhD Candidate, Toronto School of Theology
This book is the most powerful antidote to fundamentalism that I've ever read.
author of Crazy for God --Wipf and Stock Publishers
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Top Customer Reviews
However, there is ample reason for the five star rating. Of all my reading, this book is the clearest and most concise dead fish slap against the face of Biblical inerrancy I have yet read. The author's writing is excellent, the tone is scholarly, it is amply footnoted, and it brought new material to my attention. Mr. Stark uses the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy as his foil throughout the book as well as numerous quotes from defenders of Biblical inerrancy. Having spent nearly my entire life in this perspective, I never felt Mr. Stark was creating straw men or misconstruing evangelical/fundamentalist thinking on this issue. Mind you, he does not pull any punches, but the opposing viewpoint was presented honestly. At several points in the book he also presents alternative perspectives to both inerrancy and his own beliefs. In this regard, I feel Mr. Stark did a real service to the reader.Read more ›
Most Christians think that they must either accept the Bible as divinely inspired in its entirety or reject it as a moral and spiritual guide. But among theologians, this has never been a consensus position. Like Bart Ehrman, Thom Stark offers the lay reader a window into the world where theologians and antiquities scholars wrestle with the ancient texts that comprise the Bible. He provides an accessible introduction to the methods that scholars use to evaluate the history and intent of a biblical text.
Stark confronts so called inerrantists head on, exposing what he calls a "hermeneutics of convenience" as they pick among a potpourri of interpretive methods, depending on whichever one best protects their dogmatic insistence that the Bible is God's perfect and complete revelation to humankind. One chapter title sums it up: "Inerrantists Do Not Exist."
I recently reread The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love, by John Shelby Spong. I am forever indebted to Spong's patient, tireless engagement in the process of reformation. But I will confess that of the two books I learned more from The Human Faces of God.Read more ›
Chapters 1-3 are aimed at the articulation of the doctrine of inerrancy itself. Stark uses the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy as his focal point to debunk. He does an excellent job of illuminating the contradictions, intellectual dishonesty and mental gymnastics of Biblical inerrantists. I have not seen such a strong argument against the doctrine of inerrancy as the one that was put forth in these three chapters alone.
In chapters 4-8 Stark pushes his argument further (much further) by turning his eye towards the Bible itself to root out the discrepancies. He demonstrates that early Israel possessed a polytheistic worldview similar to its surrounding neighbors. Then, he shows the reader that there are hints of child sacrifice as an acceptable (but not often occurring) practice in early Israel. Stark then sheds light on the acts of genocide in the OT. He not only critiques the immorality of such passages, but he also assesses their historicity. By the time he's finished with this chapter there isnt much to salvage for an inerrantist. Chapter 8 is the most controversial of all. Stark attempts to demonstrate that Jesus was wrong in His apocalyptic prediction of the end of the world. While I so badly did not want to agree with him, I could not find a hole in his logic.
The last two chapters deal with which scriptural readings will not work and which ones will.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely brilliant stab at the issue of fundamentalist arrogance. I have read this book twice. Required Reading at the Academy.Published 5 months ago by Mark G. Woodworth
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in not only the issue of Biblical inerrancy, but also to anyone interested in biblical studies. Read morePublished 8 months ago by stevie
This book just changed in many Ways the way I learned to approach Scriptures and moral reasoning. Also the importance of thinking by ourselves as believers. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Omar Salom
I have two criticisms of the book: the author comes across as unnecessarily snarky through much of it and he didn't give a proportionate amount of time to rebuilding all that he... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Greg Iverson
Not an easy read, but well worth the effort. A more complete look at and better understanding how religious thought got us to where we are, and where we could go if we are willing... Read morePublished on January 26, 2014 by it's me
A provocative and clever book that draws some attention to otherwise neglected and disturbing inconsistencies in the historic biblical narrative. Read morePublished on November 26, 2013 by F. Barthold
Thom Stark's "The Human Faces of God" is an excellent read and highly recommended.
Stark's position is essentially that inerrancy is not justified especially as it was... Read more
I grew up in the conservative Christian tradition, and am very familiar with Biblical concepts on a layperson's terms. Read morePublished on September 21, 2013 by A. Semler
After reading this book, I was a fan of Mr. Stark. I have to say that initially I found Mr. Stark's work to be the authoritative work against Biblical inerrancy. Mr. Read morePublished on August 8, 2013 by wabbit67