Loose Ends: Banned Books and Bad Guys

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13 Responses

  1. Bob Sweat says:

    “What I found out was that the fundy Inquisition had no idea what was really in those books, nor did they understand the content enough to make a reasoned judgment on it.”


    I could not agree more!

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you, Bob!

  3. bob1 says:

    It’s taken me decades to shed the reading(s) I did as a new Christian when I was a teenager, about
    “one world.” It was the Hal Lindsey.rapture books that preached this. If somebody believed in that concept, they were for sure related to the AntiChrist, 666, etc.

    Now that I’m older I appreciate being able to listen to songs or read literature with that phrase in it and not think they’re up to something nefarious. 🙂

    But it’s taken awhile.

  4. My mother of The Silent Generation, obtained a PO Box with a 95655 zip because her property was in 95666. Really?

    I read TLGPE as a teen, then his book on the rapture. When Hal9000 started talking about how many crowns would be laid up for him in heaven, my 15 year old self thought, “this guy’s really into himself!”

    Funny thing, Jesus Calling isn’t in my CC shop, yet the version for kids is.

    Re: the corona virus, maybe it’s not, but it could be the real deal. I talked to a professional a few years ago about the plans if there were another pandemic like the 1918 Spanish Flu. He was part of the Bay Area task force. He said, “the bodies would pile up at Moffat [Field].

    9 million here in the greater bay area. Just considering my city of San Jose with 1 million, that would be 30,000 dead. Over 100,000 would be horribly sick. Society would grind to a halt. So sad that it’s being politicized. Maybe this isn’t it, but we don’t know yet. It could get very bad.

  5. Nancy Holmes says:

    I’ve been pondering yesterday’s topics. Thanks Em for the resurrection of that great word!!

    2 of the topics are quickly dealt with. My advice to spiritual adventurers of “forbidden” books is to check out the religion section of 2nd hand book stores. Sometimes there are treasures that one would never see in a modern Christian bookstore. Besides there is a delicious furtive feeling to lurking in such places when one’s spiritual leaders have been legalistically clutching their pearls at the mere thought of investigating off brand ideas.

    Concerning the politicizing of the coronavirus concerns. I don’t consider fact finding and assigning responsibility to be a political activity. However interpretation of those facts or the manufacturing of alternative facts can quickly become politically useful as we have seen on both sides.

    Finally I want to address the whole saint/sinner issue that Michael raised in questioning whether we should still read the writings of disgraced spiritual leaders. I wish I could say that I always approach a book with this question: does this book point me towards God or towards its human author? But I am easily beguiled by an author’s “style” and story and rarely think about the intrinsic message if the book ends happily with a conversion to Christ.

    There are so many books available to read that seem to give the same spiritual insights as those written by the clay-feet crowd. Having read the summary report from L’Arche, I was so struck and horrified by the blasphemy and heresy being promoted in the manipulations of the women victims, that I cannot imagine trying to filter out the truth from the evil and vile that may be lurking in seemingly innocuous exhortations. So I believe some books by fallen leaders need to be burned or at the very least handled with 10 foot pole caution.

    I don’t believe that “Lot’s book” was ever a contender for the official canon of scripture. Assigning responsibility for that last messy scene and its spiritual ramifications certainly challenges the #Metoo positions of abuser/victim. However God’s redemption of that X-rated occurrence is seen with the listing of Ruth the Moabitess among Christ’s ancestors.

    God have mercy on us all!!

  6. Babylon's Dread says:

    Of course the pentecostal tradition lionizes the dead sinning saints. The first time I saw God’s Generals I was scandalized beyond belief now I am terrorized by the thought of who will appear in the 2000s version. Liars, swindlers, perverts, abusers abound. All with claims of miracles and adorned with indisputable abilities to hold crowds in rapt sway.

    As for my own fundamentalist background, I was just confronted with bullhorn toting hell promising street preachers who even invaded the NOBTS student center atrium promising damnation for everything from eternal security doctrine to the usual array of gross perversions.

    What indeed do we do with us people who are sinner/saints? But God…

  7. Michael says:

    Nancy Holmes,

    There’s nothing like used book stores to fill out a library…
    Our problem is that we never know who has clay feet until after they track mud all over the floor…

  8. Michael says:


    Well said…and I wonder why a movement with such a rich history of charlatans doesn’t ever change…

  9. Em says:

    Probably shouldn’t share this – i can hear teeth gnashing as i type 😂 Years ago in a town on Puget Sound there was a house for sale very cheap. It had been used as a second hand bookstore and the books were included – all of them – shelves and shelves of books….

  10. Nancy Holmes says:

    Great imagery, Michael!!

    I am humbled; I stand revealed as a dainty goody two-shoes who has never walked a mile in the moccasins of someone who has actually read the works of these recently exposed fallen writers. Because I have not wrestled thru the implications of their writings and tried to select effective filters, I have been too self congratulatory about the consequences of their input on my life. This has got to be a close cousin if not the identical twin to self righteousness, attitude-wise.

    Maybe there could be a metaphorical equivalence of a hazmat suit with the armor of God as described in Ephesians 6–both for encountering and cleaning up the various spiritual messes we encounter every day. We (I) mostly don’t think to approach life with this serious caution even as we are warned that the devil seeks to devour us continually. I will give this more serious thought than I have previously.

    Thank you…

  11. filbertz says:

    just as amusing in a sad, dejected, melancholy manner is the same fervent book banning fanatics couldn’t keep it in house, they exported their lunacy into public schools, public libraries and demonstrated not only their ignorance and fear, but their intolerance and inflexibility. Just another stain on the underwear of God’s chosen few.

  12. Muff Potter says:

    I’ve long been surprised that Mere Christianity –by C.S. Lewis, hasn’t been removed from more fundagelical bookstores for some of the things he (Lewis) wrote.

  13. pstrmike says:

    When I was accepted at PDX Seminary, I was told by a friend that I would become a liberal. I read broadly from both sides of the aisle, and in some areas, I did change. Today that same friend tells me he has a hard time understanding why certain areas of the faith are even of interest to me.

    The Vanier revelations has rocked some of the Spiritual Formation camp rather strongly. The ungodly pursuit of his longings has forever placed a black mark on his record. It is yet to be seen how all this will shake out, but I suspect it is more than just a fundamentalist trait that discourages reading of certain authors.

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