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Old 02-10-2008, 12:22 AM
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Unhappy Hearing From John Grisham

ATLANTA (BP)--To restore their prophetic voice in the culture, Baptists must reject "narrow" interpretations of Scripture and oppose both the Iraq war and President Bush's tax cuts, plenary session speakers said Jan. 31 at the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant in Atlanta.

Novelist John Grisham said it is time for Baptists to stop reading the Bible with so-called narrow literalness and celebrate diversity.

He criticized the Baptist church he attended during his youth for taking what he said was an inconsistent and intolerant approach to Scripture.

"In the Baptist church of my youth we were taught that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God -- every word is divinely inspired and it is to be read literally," Grisham said. "It just dropped out of heaven. Five thousand years ago God made the earth in six days, 144 hours. Then He rested on the Sabbath, which is really on Saturday but we're not going to start that debate. Methuselah lived to be a [thousand], and when Paul wrote that women should be submissive, that was the literal interpretation. It was the law.

Grisham speaks

The meeting also heard from well-known author, John Grisham.

Baptist Press reports he criticized the Southern Baptist church where he grew up for teaching that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God. According to the BP article, Grisham called churches holding such beliefs intolerant and harmful to the cause of Christ. " The church was proudly intolerant of other people, other denominations, other religions," Grisham said. "Sadly, in many ways and in many places, that church still exists today."