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The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart

de Peter J. Gomes

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1,129817,687 (4.11)6
The Good Book is a brilliant and inspiring look at the Bible today from the preacher to Harvard University, a man Time magazine called one of the seven best preachers in America. "The theme of this book," writes Peter Gomes in his introduction, "is the risk and the joy of the Bible: risk in that we might get it wrong, and joy in the discovery of the living Word becoming flesh. It is around this theme that I formulate three basic questions which the thoughtful reader. Brings to the Bible: What is it? How is it used? What does it have to say to me?" With compassion, humor, and insight, Gomes gives us the tools we need to make the Bible a dynamic part of our daily lives - and reminds us that the Bible is not just doctrine and interpretation, but one of the most available and extraordinary means by which we are brought into proximity with the divine.… (mais)
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I did not finish this book -- I did not read all of it because I became somewhat bored. It was written about 20+ years ago and my questions are generally beyond what he is writing. Yes, there are some good ideas but he is maintaining the established church hierarchy with all that entails, and I am uncertain that it is a viable stand to take. After reading Armstrong, Spong, Crossan, Borg, Pagels, Levine, and others, Peter Gomes is somewhat tame.
  Elizabeth80 | Mar 22, 2024 |
Harvard's chaplain takes us into the Bible in new ways, and tackles some of the hardest topics that people of faith have struggled with.
  StJamesLenoir | Apr 25, 2020 |
Epiphany-OviedoELCA library section 3 B: General Christianity. The Reverend Dr. Peter J. Gomes is one of my favorite theologians. I first saw him on a C-SPAN program where the station traveled to various homes and locales of American authors. They interviewed people at those places who were experts on the writings of the authors. I believe Gomes was either at Thoreau's shed in the woods at Walden or else he was at Plymouth to discuss the Pilgrims. At the time I thought, what a delightful speaker and so full of knowledge about his subject. Turns out the Rev. Dr. Gomes was Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard, and since 1974 was minister of the Memorial Church on Harvard's famous Yard, or quad, in the midst of its original buildings. His denomination is American Baptist. Our son Ben took an elective course from Gomes in his senior year at Harvard entitled "The History of Harvard." His readings included works by the Puritans such as John Winthrop and Cotton Mather. Gomes is a native of Plymouth, so he is familiar with not only the university but the Puritans who founded Harvard in 1636.
In the first part of this book Gomes guide us through the Bible, explaining its ever-changing role in American religion, culture and politics, and in our own lives. He gives us a crash course in Bible literacy and interpretation, and how the Bible should and should not be used. In part two, called "The Uses and Abuses of the Bible," Gomes helps readers to reconcile the Bible with themselves and the world, and reclaims biblical interpretation from those who would misuse it to alienate and exclude women, people of different races, and other minorities. He discusses how some people twist verses of the Bible to promote anti-Semitism. In part three, which he calls "The True and Lively Word," he discusses the Bible and the good life, suffering, joy, evil, temptation, wealth, science and mystery.
This is a remarkable and lively book by the man which Time magazine calls, "one of the seven best preachers in America." He shows that the Good Book is not just about doctrine and interpretation but a tool with which to better understand and approach God. This book brings the Bible to life, and it is fascinating. I learned many new ways of looking at the Bible that gave me food for thought. I urge you to read it, and I hope you enjoy it. Gomes recently died which is unfortunate, but at least we have a wonderful collection of his books which speak for his stilled voice. This book would make a wonderful adult bible study. ( )
  Epiphany-OviedoELCA | Sep 1, 2011 |
The last line, in the last chapter sums up this fine book:

"These lively oracles of God are a living word, from a living God for a needy people. It is indeed the Good Book."

Gomes speaks clearly, and winningly of the Bible's power, its provenance and its promise - recommended! ( )
  mrklingon | Mar 22, 2011 |
For a responsible and accessible book on the Bible that teaches biblical respect for LGBTQ people, see this book, especially Chapter 8 ( )
  StephenSprinkle | Feb 11, 2011 |
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The Good Book is a brilliant and inspiring look at the Bible today from the preacher to Harvard University, a man Time magazine called one of the seven best preachers in America. "The theme of this book," writes Peter Gomes in his introduction, "is the risk and the joy of the Bible: risk in that we might get it wrong, and joy in the discovery of the living Word becoming flesh. It is around this theme that I formulate three basic questions which the thoughtful reader. Brings to the Bible: What is it? How is it used? What does it have to say to me?" With compassion, humor, and insight, Gomes gives us the tools we need to make the Bible a dynamic part of our daily lives - and reminds us that the Bible is not just doctrine and interpretation, but one of the most available and extraordinary means by which we are brought into proximity with the divine.

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