When asked about the Bible course at the local public high school, a West Texas minister told the Abilene Reporter News, “My hope is the end result is they read their Bible and start asking questions elsewhere and they become Christians. That’s the hope of the community, too.”
The Jews of Jesus’ time, the preacher intoned, were slavishly devoted to the practices of their ancestors. They studied scripture but did not apply it. Their temple was “rotten to the core.” Ancient Judaism was a religion whose rituals were “impressive, inspiring and empty.” It was a faith preoccupied with the superficial and lacking in substance.
Creators of a Bible curriculum used in 1,000 U.S. public schools claim that "The Bible in History and Literature" is a nonsectarian course, when the truth is that it presents a distinct theological perspective. Discussions of science are based on nonscientific literature; archaeological findings "prove" the Bible’s complete historical accuracy. One chapter describes the U.S. as a historically Christian nation and suggests that it needs to reclaim that heritage.
In 1996, shortly before his death, John Howard Yoder grouped ten essays based on papers he had written in the preceding three decades into what he called the “Shalom Desktop Packet.” The collection circulated among Yoder’s wide circle of colleagues and conversation partners, then was made available online.
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