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jesus the radical pastor | exploring the life and mission of the 1st century Jesus for our 21st century » Blog Archive » The ‘Fortune Cookie’ Bible


Why doesn’t some Bible publishing company come out with “The Fortune Cookie Bible”?

Many Christians treat the Bible like they do a fortune cookie after a nice Chinese food dinner.

Pithy, little positive sayings that perk up your life and create a little, fun curiosity, that’s what fortune cookies do. And that’s all that many Christians want from their Bibles.

Life is about me, most American Christians conclude, and so the Bible should be about me, too. God is nice, but nice (and disposable) in a fortune cookie kind of way. Maybe his Word will tell me something I really want to hear, and if it doesn’t, I’ll close it up until I want another fortune told.

I’ll read my “verse for the day” or my little morsel of pious Bible-sweets and then I’ll be all my way to the important business of the day…my business. The truth that the Bible expresses the most revolutionary, turn-your-whole-world-upside-down-Story never occurs to them. The Bible has been chopped up into nice, tasty bite-size pieces since they can ever remember and so to grasp its total upheaval of life as we know it is foreign to them. Not only foreign, but frightening. Please keep the Bible bite-size and disposable. They’ve been trained to eat fast-food, so to eat their way through the tough-to-cut meat of the Bible sounds too hard. At the most, you can just give the Cliff Notes version. The American version of the Cliff Notes is: “God is love; I am a sinner; Jesus died for my sins on the cross, so if ‘I accept him,’ I’ll go to heaven when I die.” But until I die, I get to live the American Dream like everyone else. What a deal!

The New American Fortune Cookie Version Holy Bible. I think it would sell. Don’t you?