17/04/2007

Blind Spots in the Bible (by Adrian Plass)

I've just finished reading one of Adrian Plass's non-fiction books, 'Blind Spots in the Bible'. It's not a book to read at one sitting: it's a collection of short passages from Scripture, some better-known than others, with the author's thoughts about them. Each of the passages either has something that doesn't appear to fit with the rest of the Bible, or something which is often ignored.

I suppose some fundamentalists would be unhappy with this; Plass slightly satirises the point of view that every last semi-colon of Scripture is divinely inspired. That's not to say that he doesn't take the Bible seriously - he clearly does. But he also acknowledges that it was written by humans, in a particular culture. Jewish culture of the time often used deliberate exaggeration to make a point, for instance.

I love Adrian Plass's writing. I suppose it's very 'British', with gentle irony, and places where he pokes fun at himself. But there's a lot of depth amidst the apparent lightness, and I found this book quite thought-provoking at times. Don't expect deep theology; this is the author's own thoughts, including some personal anecdotes. But in my view, that makes it all the more readable - and all the more comprehensible, too.

Recommended to anyone who struggles with certain aspects of the Bible - or, indeed, to those who would like to pick holes in it. This little book shows how even some of the trickiest passages do make sense, so long as one takes a broader view of God.

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