David Nilsen of the A-Team blog, a blog that is always interesting and well worth adding to your regular reads, has introduced us to the “Green Bible.” If your Jesus Junk alarm just went off, it is for good reason. The Word is complex, it is rich, and it is deep. As David reminds us in his post, oversimplifying the scriptures to give us one perspective can be dangerous:
Scripture purposefully makes use of many different genres (and different themes!) to convey the Gospel message in the most comprehensive way possible. A Bible that goes out of its way to draw attention to only a single theme can have the unfortunate side effect of obscuring the Gospel message itself.
Gimmicky is a great adjective to describe most themed Bibles. However, the problem of the Green Bible is not that it is gimmicky, rather the problem is that it could lead to heresy. The Green Bible perverts Scriptures to promote the Gospel of Green:
“[From the Green Bible Quiz] 4) Where did Jesus go to commune with nature?”
(It’s been said before, but it bears repeating here: Jesus was not a hippy). The answer to this question is apparently found in Matthew 4:23 [sic], “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray.” Seriously, are the people responsible for the green “bible” actually reading it? Jesus didn’t go up the mountain to commune with nature! He went up to pray (literally, to commune with God!). Stretching the meaning of a verse to make a point is one thing. Butchering a verse and literally replacing God with nature…that’s a whole new ballgame.
David’s critique of the Green Bible is precise and insightful. I recommend you read the rest of his post here.