By Alexander Carpenter
I'm mad that I missed A. J. Jacobs in town last week. I first discovered his first-person reportage when I came across his book on reading through the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. Then I heard him talk about his month of outsourcing his entire life to workers in Bangalore, India and I was hooked. You might have seen reviews for his latest, year-long project, The Year of Living Biblically in which he documents obeying every rule in scripture: from not shaving to not wearing mixed fiber clothing to stoning adulterers.
I find that all too often those who defend a non-historical reading of the Bible really don't know what they are getting into. In fact, I have to say that I respect the bearded male and dress-wearing, head-covered female Reform Adventists I knew growing up a lot more than those who grab a couple of verses to defend their sexism and homophobia. What I really appreciate about Jacobs' talk is that he finds a deeper moral and spiritual meaning in God's Word, a Truth that goes beyond the contingencies of textual interpretation -- something literally life-changing.
Make sure you get to his comments on homosexuality and the Sabbath.
More on Red-letter Christians.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4057