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The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – August 2011

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-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
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"Evangelicalism is cracking apart not because of theological drift to the left but because the only theology that can sustain a genuine evangelicalism is--to use the only word appropriate--a catholic theology. Many who were nurtured in American evangelicalism (as Christian Smith was) and now find it seriously deficient (as Christian Smith does) seem to be those on whom the light has dawned. Here is a genuinely evangelical catholic understanding of scripture."
--Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary
"Biblicism remains one of the most entrenched and pressing problems facing the church. In his characteristically lucid, direct, and fair-minded fashion, Christian Smith asks questions about biblicism that need to be answered. Smith also begins to articulate an alternative, Christ-centered approach to biblical interpretation that is supremely constructive--a truly evangelical account of scripture."
--Douglas A. Campbell, Duke University Divinity School
"Given the importance and influence of evangelicalism in American religion and culture, this book is both a healthy corrective and a hopeful sign of positive developments within evangelicalism."
--Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, America

"Ever the sociologist, Smith forces readers to confront and account for the stubborn fact that not everyone who ascribes supreme authority to 'what the Bible says' hears God saying the same thing. Even those, like me, who are not persuaded by his 'truly evangelical' alternative will benefit from this strong dose of realism about the way in which evangelicals actually interpret and appeal to the Bible."
--Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
"[A] finely constructed volume. . . . Smith makes a persuasive case for shifting one's focus from the sole authority of the words of scripture to the one whom scripture proclaims to be 'the way, the truth and the life.' Such a shift, he insists, is necessary for American evangelicalism to move forward."
--Publishers Weekly
This edition includes a new afterword in which the author engages conversations stimulated by the hardcover edition. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Christian Smith (PhD, Harvard University) is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He is the award-winning author or coauthor of numerous books, including What Is a Person? Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and Moral Good from the Person Up and Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults. His research focuses primarily on religion in modernity, adolescents, American evangelicalism, and culture. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Das Buch von Christian Smith ist eine Offenbarung. Leider, das sei hier ausdrücklich betont, gibt es davon noch keine deutsche Übersetzung. Jedoch, auch wenn es sich auf die amerikanische Situation bezieht, können wir in Deutschland aus den Beobachtung des Soziologen der renommierten amerikanischen Universität von Notre Dame sehr viel lernen. In Amerika hat Smith mit seiner Veröffentlichung eine heftige Debatte ausgelöst und sich mit dem fundamentalistischen Establishment insbesondere der rechtsgerichteten refomierten Evangelikalen angelegt.

Worum geht es? Zunächst ist die Überschrift dieser Rezension so etwas wie der Versuch, den Titel ins Deutsche zu übersetzen. Was Smith als "Biblicist" bezeichnet, lässt sich im Deutschen nur sehr ungenau als biblizistisch wiedergeben. Smith bezeichnet damit eine Haltung bestimmter Kreise zur Bibel und deren Auslegung derselben. In einer Charakterisierung dieser Haltung umschreibt er neun Kriterien, wobei diese noch durch eine letzte sozusagen allumfassende zehnte These ergänzt werden. Als "Biblicist" bezeichnet Smith eine solche Haltung, die die Bibel als ein umfassendes Handbuch für alle Glaubens- und Lebenswahrheiten ansieht oder als Gebrauchsanweisung für die täglichen Fragen des Lebens. Diese Haltung ist sehr eng verbunden mit einem Verständnis, das die Bibel als inspiriert und als irrtumslos in allen ihren Aussagen betrachtet. Smith macht aber deutlich, dass er den Gedanken einer Inspiration gar nicht ablehnt und dass er die Diskussion um den Begriff der "Irrtumslosigkeit," die insbesondere in Amerika geführt wird, für fruchtlos hält.Trotzdem liegt es nahe, diese beiden Begriffe durchaus auf der Linie von "Biblicist" zu sehen.
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1 Kommentar 3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich? Ja Nein Feedback senden...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Es wäre schön, wenn ein solches Buch auch auf Deutsch erscheinen würde. Der "Biblizismus" (im deutschen Sprachraum besser: "bibeltreues Christentum") ist gerade in evangelikalen Freikirchen die dominierende Sicht auf die Bibel. Dort gibt es in der Regel nur schwarz oder weiß: Buchstäbliche Auslegung vs. liberale Bibelzerstörung.
Er wählt einen christozentrischen Ansatz, die Bibel zu verstehen. Das ist nicht unbedingt neu, aber eine sinnvolle Sache.
Als ehemaliger Evangelikaler (nun Katholik) weiß Smith auch wovon er redet und was er kritisiert.
Man muss ihm auch nicht in allem folgen, aber er gibt gute Anstöße zu Nachdenken.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 von 5 Sternen 79 Rezensionen
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Honest and Useful 7. August 2016
Von bernie kopfer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The first half of the book where the author articulates the problem in Evangelicalism of Biblical inerrancy is worth the price of the book alone. He makes a honest and thoughtful appraisal of the problem and the chapter listing all the books of "multiple views" on nearly every topic near and dear to Evangelicals is priceless. His solution is good, but one of several, and most importantly the author acknowledges exactly that. To those that are unhappy with his wording and definitions perhaps you could give a better explanation of how to solve the problem he states very clearly and graciously. With Protestantism came sola scriptura and individual salvation not dependent on a church or priesthood. The fragmentation of the Protestant church is the natural outgrowth of this type of understanding but fortunately God is bigger and better than our endeavors to get it all together.( Makes me wonder how humans understood the Bible prior to a couple hundred plus years ago when only a single digit percentage of people where able to read.)
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Christological reading of Scripture 16. September 2011
Von M. J. Smith - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
After getting bored during the first 2 chapters because of the hammering away at the core critique of biblicism (pervasive interpretive pluralism), I hit the "I can't put the book down" section. I agree with many of the previous reviews with regards to how the author identifies and explains the problem with the biblicist (as he defines it) reading of scripture. However, what I would emphasize about the book is the argument that a Christocentric interpretation is part of the solution to the difficulties. In his endeavor to modify the evangelical biblicist he understates what a seismic shift this would be. He does, however, illustrate the results of the shift in a very positive light.

The strength of the book is that Smith is not attacking evangelical thought in general. He is attacking a specific element of some evangelical thought - and he is quoting primarily evangelical theologians to do so. In this way, he provides grounds for productive conversation between evangelicals and the rest of Christianity.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Christocentric Hermeneutics 27. Februar 2012
Von Animal - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
In his book, "The Bible Made Impossible" Smith takes on the issue of Biblicism, an extremely high view of Scripture held by many Evangelicals today. Smith defines Biblicism as: "a particular theory about and style of using the Bible that is defined by a constellation of related assumptions and beliefs about the Bible's nature, purpose, and function." This "constellation" is represented by ten assumptions or beliefs that Smith goes into great detail about. Smith does not question the inerrancy or inspiration of Scripture, only how it is read and understood by many who ascribe to Biblicism. He points out several things wrong with Biblicism, primarily pervasive interpretative pluralism, perscuity, and multivocal understandings. Smith provides many examples on a range of theological topics. He then provides an alternative view in how we should read and understand Scripture. This alternative view is the Christocentric Hermeneutical Key, an approach in which we always read Scripture through the lens of Christ, reading and understanding Scripture in a way that always points to Christ, the key and central figure for all of the Bible. The Christocentric reading of Scripture is truly the evangelical way of understanding the Bible. I highly recommend this outstanding book for those who may suspect something doesn't seem right with Biblicism and for those who are surrounded by many people who ascribe to Biblicism.
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good content. A bit more antagonistic then he needs to be 4. Dezember 2011
Von Adam Shields - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
There are many books that I would get everyone I know to read if I could. This is not one of them. I do not want to be heard wrong, but there are many that will not get this book and will be left worse off for reading it.

Christian Smith has a provocative thesis. Essentially he says that in the attempt to hold scripture against the modernists, many Evangelicals have become "Biblicists" and have placed on the bible a role that Smith believes is inappropriate. Some biblicists have replaced the Holy Spirit with the Bible as the third member of the trinity. Some Biblicists use the bible as a rule book or instruction guide and attempt to force a single view of theology on it. Others try to reconcile all of the issues within scripture and create a bible that was written primarily for the 21st century understanding of history, science and theology.

He summarizes the problem as Pervasive Interpretive Pluralism. As Christians if we believe that scripture is God's word (dictated by God) then we should have a single interpretive framework and it should be easier for us to agree what the Bible actually says. Smith says that is clear that we do not have that, so instead we have Christians creating frameworks and then pushing the evidence of scripture into a particular framework. His best illustration of this of a bunch of puzzle pieces without a picture. Many people make many different pictures out of the pieces, but no system uses all of the pieces or creates a whole picture without damaging some of the pieces.

Overall I agree with many of the complaints that Smith has. But I believe that he is needlessly antagonistic toward many that would benefit from reading this book. The tone of the first half is fairly harsh and while I understand why it is harsh (he seems to have been hurt and somewhat persecuted because he is trying to push through and find a real understanding of scripture that fits with the evidence that he finds in scripture), I still think that if he had a co-writter or editor that had helped tone down that rhetoric a bit, it would have been a better book. I believe that there are enough intellectually honest Evangelicals that a presentation of the evidence really would be enough to convict many.

The second half of the book is Smith's attempt at solving the problem. 1) Smith says we just need to get over the fact that there seems to be contradictory points in scripture. He encourages us to view scripture progressively. In the example of slavery, scripture does not condemn slavery, but does move in the direction of increasing human rights and pushes the cultural boundaries of the times when scripture was being written. So over time, most Christians have come to believe that scripture really does lead us to condemn slavery, even if the condemnation is not expliciet within the pages of scripture.

2) Smith believes that scripture should be read Christologically. The way we should understand all of scripture is by looking at it through the lens of Christ's incarnation. Scripture is the story of God's creation, the fall of humanity, God's choosing and work through Israel, Christ's incarnation, death and resurrection and God's work in the church and the hint of Christ's future work of his second coming and the recreation of Earth under Christ's future reign. (This is very similar to the way NT Wright says we should understand scripture.) Smith believes that looking at scripture Christologically will diminish (but not eliminate) many of the minor issues that are debated among Christians.

3) His third point is that we need to read scripture in community. For Smith this means converting to Catholicism to maintain a interpretive framework around scripture to prevent errant readings. The vast majority of Evangelical readers will not do this (and he really does not talk about it here, but this is what Smith has done.) I wish he had written a bit more about this third suggestion. In general, I agree with it, but the problem I see is that some will chose church community options that allow them to reject the teaching of scripture that they find inappropriate or difficult. So Southern Baptist Churches broke away from Northern Baptist churches because of a different of understanding about slavery. Lutherans and Presbyterians have a different understanding of the sacraments. The result of a greater lay reading of scripture is that we have at least 35,000 different denominations now. But I still think that he point is basically right, even if it is not specific enough.

There are several other suggestions that I think are useful but less important (deciding what beliefs are more important, get comfortable with mystery, stop looking for all information within scripture and allow for more understanding of general revelation, etc.)

On the whole, I really think that Smith make some good points about how we inappropriately use the bible. My problem with the book is that he is better at tearing down the inappropriate use of scripture than building up the appropriate use of scripture. (I think that is just part of the problem. It is harder to do it right than it is do complain about others doing it wrong.) I also am a bit concerned about the tone, but others that I have read this with were less concerned about the tone. So maybe it is my problem more than the books problem.

I have read this after reading a number of other books on scripture recently. If I had not read Walton's Lost World of Genesis One, Peter Enn's Inspiration and Incarnation, Wright's Scripture and the Authority of God and The Challenge of Jesus, and others I do not believe I would have been ready to read and receive the message of this book.

Originally published on my blog Bookwi.se
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen what does that look like? This uncovers the weakness of the book and ... 14. Oktober 2014
Von Warren O. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I used this book as a participant in a book discussion group. The consensus of my group was that Smith indeed accurately lifted up a problem within American evangelical Christianity called pervasive interpretive pluralism. Because I come from a non-evangelical, mainline Christian background, I was already very familiar with his solution, viz. the Christocentric hermeneutical key which he borrowed from Karl Barth. My book group said, "Okay, if we need to handle scripture through the lens of a Christocentric hermeneutic, what does that look like? This uncovers the weakness of the book and why, I suspect, that Smith caught strong negative feedback from some of his fellow evangelicals. He could have helped his cause by stepping away from his scholastic approach and invested in a bit of vocational training in hermeneutics. Another thing that Smith could have done to help the outcome of his tome - he could have written positively about his theology of scriptural authority and the theology of scripture as the word of God. [Of course, Smith claims his role as sociologist but denies his role as theologian. If he's not a theologian nor developing a theology, then perhaps he should leave theological topics alone.] Finally, if Smith is brave enough to admit that he is at the very least an armchair theologian, I believe that he has some unfinished business in the book, viz. he often alluded to the emptiness of Protestant liberalism and that he was not capitulating to that theological camp. Specifically, what is he not embracing, and how is he keeping from it? While it is true that I have several questions for Smith, I do think that this is a worthwhile read.
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