The other day my wife and I were browsing through the Religion section in Barnes & Noble and I came across The Green Bible. For those that don’t know, The Green Bible is a printing of the NRSV with the sections about caring for God’s creation highlighted in green. It includes essays by N.T. Wright, Brian MacLaren, Pope John Paul II and others on the imperative to care for the environment. It’s printed on environmentally friendly materials. You get the point.
Initially, I thought it was a neat idea, but as I flipped through it, my enthusiasm faded to annoyance and then concern. Of course I liked it. It fits with my general worldview. But the more I thought about it, the less comfortable I became. The marketing aspect of The Green Bible began to sink in. The fact that it emphasized certain aspects of the text and then included contemporary essays on the emphasis troubled me. Now, I know that as a pacifist, I emphasize some verses over others in my faith practice. But something about enshrining those emphases in the text made me deeply uncomfortable.
So, yesterday, when I received a link to the Conservative Bible Project via Twitter, I became deeply annoyed and even angry. The CBP goes so far beyond The Green Bible. It sets up conservatism as received wisdom from God to which even Scripture must be made to conform.
It’s idolatry. Shame.