Item description for Sex, Sacrifice, Shame, & Smiting: Is the Bible Always Right? by Donald Kraus...
Overview The Bible presents us with difficult statements about money and finance, social justice, marrige and divorce, sex, religion and politics, and other areas of life. Many of us pick and choose among them, feeling free to treat some of the Bible's moral rulings as absolutes but ignoring those we find unacceptable. Are there areas where we can ignore what the Bible says? Is the Bible simply wrong about some things? Are we free to argue that we understand things better than the biblical writers did and can therefore disregard them? Or must we accept what the Bible tells us, no matter how difficult it might be to put into practice? Kraus explores questions of vengeance, the death penalty, economics, social justice, sexual behavior, and more.
Publishers Description The Bible presents us with difficult statements about money and finance, social justice, marriage and divorce, sex, religion and politics, and other areas of life. Many of us pick and choose among them, feeling free to treat some of the Bible's moral rulings as absolutes but ignoring those we find unacceptable. Are there areas where we can ignore what the Bible says? Is the Bible is simply wrong about some things? Are we free to argue that we understand things better than the biblical writers did an so can disregard them? Or must we accept what the Bible tells us, no matter how difficult it might be to put into practice? Kraus explores questions of prosperity, treatment of enemies, the death penalty, economics, social justice, sexual behavior, and others."
From Publishers Weekly The subtitle alone will dissuade some from picking up this book, but that would be a mistake. Kraus, executive editor for Bibles at Oxford University Press, approaches his subject with the delicacy required when introducing ideas that will be considered at best heterodox and, at worst, heretical. News of schisms within the mainline churches fills the headlines. Many of these bitter disagreements boil down to how one reads and understands scripture. Kraus makes a compelling case for a context- and culture-sensitive reading of the sacred book. When doing so, he insists, one can transcend the literal and appreciate the nuance in the telling of biblical stories. He further claims that a strictly literal reading of the scriptures has contributed to morally excluding segments of our populationgays and lesbians in particular. And while he fails to fully address the inherent dangers of substituting subjective understanding for objective truth, he recognizes that, for each reader, the text comes alive in different ways. Many readers will disagree with Krauss conclusions, but most will be challenged to re-examine their traditional views. (Nov.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews Sex, Sacrifice, Shame, & Smiting: Is the Bible Always Right? by Donald Kraus has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 09/15/2008 page 61
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Studio: Seabury Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2008
Publisher Seabury Books
ISBN 1596270683 ISBN13 9781596270688
Availability 0 units.
More About Donald Kraus
Donald Kraus, executive editor for Bibles at Oxford University Press, has produced such high-profile projects as The Catholic Study Bible (first and second editions); The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha; The Jewish Study Bible; and The Jewish Annotated New Testament. He is author of Choosing a Bible and Sex, Sacrifice, Shame and Smiting.
Donald Kraus currently resides in Boston.
Donald Kraus has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Sex, Sacrifice, Shame, & Smiting: Is the Bible Always Right??
Not just for Episcopalians Feb 7, 2009
Episcopalian and Executive Editor for Bibles at Oxford University Press Donald Kraus has written a book with a clear agenda: To encourage readers on both sides of the "Gay marriage/Gay ordination" debate to sit down and seriously consider what the Bible is, what claims it makes on believers' lives, and how to uphold its primary ethical teachings without becoming foolishly (or fearfully) enslaved to ancient notions that might actually promote injustice or harm to others, values contrary to the Bible's core teachings.
First, this methodically paced and thoughtfully argued book is for any Christian concerned with seriously employing the Bible in the establishment of their personal ethic and as a guide for their life in the context of a faith community. Of the text's 151 pages, only the last couple deal with issues specific to the current divisions in the Episcopal Church. Evangelicals will be challenged by well selected examples of places where the Bible's seemingly clear-cut counsel on moral issues is no longer advocated (e.g., stoning disrespectful teenagers or requiring rapists to marry their victims). Liberals will be challenged to wrestle with what it means to affirm--with fellow Christians--the eternal authority of the Bible, rather than dismiss it as a sometimes transcendent but often flawed work of human fabrication. Kraus's establishment of the discussion in the larger biblical context of justice (the discussion of homosexuality does not begin until chapter 6) is what makes this volume such an important and irenic contribution to the literature on these issues. The tone of fairness and balance should be welcome by anyone who honestly struggles to reconcile a life of faith that takes the Bible seriously with their feelings for friends, coworkers, or family members who happen to be homosexual. Lesbians and gays who may have turned their back on their childhood religious upbringing because of negative teachings they were exposed to can read this book and expect their humanity to be taken seriously. The argumentation is sane and embracing--but thought-provoking and challenging as any adult conversation should be.
This is a book I read slowly and carefully with satisfaction and one I expect to return to from time to time. I've bought copies to share with friends. The book includes A Guide for Study and Discussion that church groups should find quite helpful.