Steve McSwain, “Author, Speaker, Thought Leader, Spiritual Teacher,” has written a piece over at HuffPo that requires some sort of response. From the rigor of argument displayed in his piece, one guess could be that he is most likely a mentor of spiritual formation at a place somewhere in LA with a name something like Kimberly’s Nail Salon, with his office just off the room full of tanning beds.
According to McSwain, Christian need to cool it with the following six dogmas that are just embarrassing the heck out of us urbane Christians. “Christians must stop saying the following things.” Okay, get your legal pads and pens out! Take good notes — it is up to us to stop humiliating the sophisticati. This is no small task, for they humiliate easy.
“1. The Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God.”
We should stop saying this because the Bible is just riddled with errors. There is a name for people like this in the Bible, but unfortunately for McSwain, that name is “unbeliever.”
He says “no matter what translation you favor, the Bible is replete with errors.” Since he concludes this section with a resounding statement about how we don’t have a right to our own facts, it would have been swell if he had appealed to some. Imagine a defense attorney standing up and saying, “I do not think my client should be convicted. The prosecutor’s case was riddled with errors. The defense rests, your honor.”
Well, okay. One scarcely knows how to engage.
“2. We just believe the Bible.”
No, not at all, he responds in soothing, dulcet, pomo tones. What you believe is your interpretation of the Bible. Sure thing. I also believe my interpretation of articles I read at HuffPo. I also see things with my eyeballs. Is there supposed to be a difficulty?
He points to the fact that there are so many differing interpretations, nudging us to respond to this with “oh, I give up then.” But we ought to respond with “I wonder which one is right? or if any of them are?”
Imagine him talking to a cancer researcher this way. “Don’t you realize that every last approach to this disease in the history of the world has been ineffectual? Every attempt to cure cancer to this point has failed. What do think you are trying to accomplish?”
Thomas Edison once said he did not discover how to make a light bulb, but rather discovered 10,000 ways how to not make one. But he is a great man, and not at all like those crazies who think there is a right way to read a text and 10,000 ways to not read it. Rubes.