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August 2016 Biblical Studies Carnival

The Monday Morning Theologian has the honors this month. So go over to J. K. Turner’s blog for all the best of biblioblogging for the month of August.

Scooby Doo is Fun TV but a Lousy Worldview

Over at JesusCreed, Jonathan Storment has written an intriguing review of Reviving Old Scratch by Richard Beck. This is a book about spiritual warfare—but Storment urges us not to roll our eyes just yet.

I want you to know this isn’t like the other spiritual warfare books out there. It is written specifically for the kinds of Christians who stopped believing in the Devil/Demons a long time ago, by someone who went down that same road.

The best way I could summarize Beck’s work is that he quotes the Canadian Philosopher Charles Taylor, lots of Scripture, lots of theologians, and talks often about Scooby Doo.

After providing some necessary philosophical background based on Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, Storment sums up Beck’s train of thought with these words:

…Scooby Doo is a perfect example of what it looks like to live in a disenchanted age. Think about every Scooby Doo episode you’ve ever seen. It starts out with an enchanted world. They’re in some haunted mansion, chasing down a ghost or goblin of some kind. All of them are terrified because they are vulnerable to the spiritual forces of the universe and at some point Shaggy runs away screaming and Scooby says “ruh­roh.”

But then the turn comes. And the ghost trips over some chair
or accidentally overplays its hand, and these detective kids suddenly realize that this isn’t a ghost at all.

Then there is the great unmasking, where they pull back the disguise and sure enough…there are no demons in the world, this is just Old Mr. Dickerson, the greedy banker trying to get rich.

Beck says

When the downward pressure of skepticism win and the enchanted world is emptied out, all that is left is the flat, horizontal drama of human action and interaction. This is the trajectory of a Scooby-Doo episode, the journey to discover that, in the end, there are no ghosts or gods or devils. In the final analysis, at the end of the thirty-minute adventure, there are only human beings.

Which sounds fine to a lot of progressive Christians. We really want to focus on human beings, we want Christianity to be good for human beings, we love humanity…until we don’t.

And here is Beck’s sweet spot, because I know him well, I really appreciated this section, because I’ve seen him live it out. What happens when progressive, disenchanted Christians try to follow Jesus into the messy places of the world without a robust theology of Spiritual warfare?

The battle becomes precisely against flesh and blood.

Do read the whole thing.

July 2016 Biblical Studies Carnival

This month’s Carnival is now posted at Philip Long’s Reading Acts blog. Enjoy!

June 2016 Biblical Studies Carnival

Kris Lyle of Old School Script hosts this month’s Carnival. He has opted to go with a TV theme for all us biblical couch potatoes. Well done!

May 2016 Biblical Studies Carnival

The next Biblical Studies Carnival is now posted at Brian Renshaw’s eponymous blog. If you are interested in top-notch biblical scholarship and/or are an Alice Cooper fan, you owe it to yourself to go see.

April 2016 Biblical Studies Blog Carnival

That Jeff Carter is hosting the festivities this month. Enjoy!

January 2016 Biblical Studies Carnival

Posted by Tim Bulkeley at Sansblog. (Who, based on his picture, has an adorable grandchild. Always a plus in my book!)

Furthermore, Brian Small has provided a roundup of Hebrews Highlights for the same month.