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The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind…

The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart

by Peter J. Gomes

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  saintmarysaccden | Oct 24, 2013 |
Epiphany-OviedoELCA library section 3 B: General Christianity. The Reverend Dr. Peter J. Gomes is one of my favorite theologians. I first saw him on a C-SPAN program where the station traveled to various homes and locales of American authors. They interviewed people at those places who were experts on the writings of the authors. I believe Gomes was either at Thoreau's shed in the woods at Walden or else he was at Plymouth to discuss the Pilgrims. At the time I thought, what a delightful speaker and so full of knowledge about his subject. Turns out the Rev. Dr. Gomes was Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard, and since 1974 was minister of the Memorial Church on Harvard's famous Yard, or quad, in the midst of its original buildings. His denomination is American Baptist. Our son Ben took an elective course from Gomes in his senior year at Harvard entitled "The History of Harvard." His readings included works by the Puritans such as John Winthrop and Cotton Mather. Gomes is a native of Plymouth, so he is familiar with not only the university but the Puritans who founded Harvard in 1636.
In the first part of this book Gomes guide us through the Bible, explaining its ever-changing role in American religion, culture and politics, and in our own lives. He gives us a crash course in Bible literacy and interpretation, and how the Bible should and should not be used. In part two, called "The Uses and Abuses of the Bible," Gomes helps readers to reconcile the Bible with themselves and the world, and reclaims biblical interpretation from those who would misuse it to alienate and exclude women, people of different races, and other minorities. He discusses how some people twist verses of the Bible to promote anti-Semitism. In part three, which he calls "The True and Lively Word," he discusses the Bible and the good life, suffering, joy, evil, temptation, wealth, science and mystery.
This is a remarkable and lively book by the man which Time magazine calls, "one of the seven best preachers in America." He shows that the Good Book is not just about doctrine and interpretation but a tool with which to better understand and approach God. This book brings the Bible to life, and it is fascinating. I learned many new ways of looking at the Bible that gave me food for thought. I urge you to read it, and I hope you enjoy it. Gomes recently died which is unfortunate, but at least we have a wonderful collection of his books which speak for his stilled voice. This book would make a wonderful adult bible study. ( )
  Epiphany-OviedoELCA | Sep 1, 2011 |
The last line, in the last chapter sums up this fine book:

"These lively oracles of God are a living word, from a living God for a needy people. It is indeed the Good Book."

Gomes speaks clearly, and winningly of the Bible's power, its provenance and its promise - recommended! ( )
  mrklingon | Mar 22, 2011 |
For a responsible and accessible book on the Bible that teaches biblical respect for LGBTQ people, see this book, especially Chapter 8 ( )
  StephenSprinkle | Feb 11, 2011 |
Gomes makes the Bible beautiful again and steals it back from the right-wing nut jobs, putting a powerful, progressive spin on the powerful words of the ancient Jews and Christians. ( )
  wordygirl39 | Apr 24, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0688134475, Hardcover)

Biblical studies have historically been consigned to theological schools and church groups. In The Good Book, Peter Gomes, pastor of Harvard University's Memorial Church and a professor of theology, has written a vivid, common sense and wise analysis of what the Bible means for us today. As an African American gay man, Gomes is interested in re-viewing the biblical passages on sexuality and race, but The Good Book is much more than a revisionist look at controversial biblical passages. Gomes is interested in rediscovering how the Bible can find a place in our emotional and political lives, as well as in our religious beliefs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:23 -0400)

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