Tuesday, December 27, 2005

American Religion is as ever a Tower of Babel

Curious little can of worms GetReligion blogger opened up on newspaper religion correspondents' idiotic comments on the Hanukkah and Christmas calendrical convergence of 2005.

St. Louis Dispatch religion reporter wrote this gem for the Theological Illiteracy file:
Most scholars today acknowledge that Isaiah was not predicting the birth and death of Christ, but instead was using the suffering servant to talk about God’s relationship with Israel during the Babylonian exile in the sixth century B.C.
GetReligion responds:
That last sentence is one of the most preposterous I’ve ever read from a religion reporter. Ever. It’s one thing to attribute the claim to someone — but to substantiate it with an unidentified cabal of “most scholars” is particularly offensive. If, in fact, “most scholars” believe this, perhaps we could learn of the survey where they were asked about their views. Perhaps we could learn what type of scholars they are. Also, perhaps, someone could notify Christendom.
This is where GR loses me. I see the usual self-serving elitism in "most scholars," but that's not what's so preposterous about the statement to me. Rather it's that the journalist actually thought he was popping someone's bubble by observing that "Isaiah was not predicting the birth and death of Christ." It's as if most Christians have foolishly hoodwinked themselves into thinking every other statement in the OT was a crystal ball prediction of Jesus. It's so ridiculous a statement -- Wait a minute...hey, oh yeah, there ARE people who butcher Scripture like that." I've been Catholic long enough to forget.

This ridiculous crystal ball understanding of Biblical prophecy among Bible fundies and evies for some bizarre reason just won't die, hence the Left Behind and pre-/post-Tribulationist crazes. We can thank Sola Scriptura once again (my favorite theological pinata) for providing us with such nonsense. Be sure to check out the comments section in the GR post; it's chock full of people talking over, through, behind, around (anything but TO) each other.