the topic of biblical literalism keeps popping up in things i read lately and now, it’s reared its head even on tv shows i watch. so it was with last week’s real time with bill maher. in the episode, bill welcomed christian coalition founder ralph reed. maher is one of the most high profile and most outspoken atheists, so when he has guests like reed, it makes for an entertaining and often cringe-worthy exchange.
take a look at this clip of the tail end of their exchange, when maher shifts to the topic of literal interpretation of the bible.
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their exchange illustrates one of the primary problems with biblical literalism. it falls apart so quickly. one has to make so many theological contortionist moves to navigate some of the most obvious and glaring arguments against it. certainly, in this case, maher was borderline antagonistic, but beyond that, his questions and line of reasoning are absolutely appropriate.
i won’t spend too much time pontificating here (i did that relatively recently on this issue), but i wanted to share the clip and illustrate how this kind of thinking isn’t helpful and it isn’t a coherent way to construct a biblical worldview.