I recently joined the Speakeasy blogging book review network because, well, I LOVE FREE BOOKS, and I’m interested in helping to promote books by women clergy and BIPOC.
Spiritual Truth in the Age of Fake News by Episcopal priest, Elizabeth Geitz, was the first book I chose to review through this new network. Through a series of short, 1-2 page reflections, Geitz takes readers on a journey through the bible, lifting up passages that aren’t often recognized and interpretations that aren’t often offered on subjects such as feminine imagery, sexism, racism, heterosexism, xenophobia, and anti-semitism. I was aware of most of these passages and interpretations already, but Geitz happily surprised me with some new insights and her writing is beautiful. This is definitely a book I will recommend to a college student who does not know there are feminine images of God in the bible or someone who believes “homosexuality is a sin” just because “the bible says so” (without really knowing what the bible says.)
My only critique is that the book’s reflections didn’t go deep enough for me. But that’s probably just me. It would serve the reader well who is looking for short, devotional-style reading that will open their mind to progressive interpretations of the bible that regrettably don’t often make it into mainstream Christianity. Other books should be read for further study and Geitz provides a thorough bibliography at the end.
Finally, I’d like to share this brief passage from the books epilogue because it beautifully captures the author’s biblical interpretation and intentions for the book.
Almost anything can be proven by quoting Scripture out of context. William Sloan Coffin wrote that those who do so are not biblical literalists, but selective literalists, who cite only those passages that confirm their belief or agenda.
Selective literalism has led to the abuse of using Scripture to proclaim women as inferior, promote slavery, condemn homosexuality, turn away the stranger, promote a culture of fear rather than love, and more. Selective literalism has become the fallback position for those who do not understand the depth and breadth of the biblical witness.
Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann has stated, “Martin Luther King Jr. famously said that the arc of history is bent toward justice. And the parallel statement that I want to make is that the arc of the Gospel is bent toward inclusiveness…That’s the elemental conviction through which I then read the text.”
Disclaimer: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.