Friends, it’s time for a little deprecating levity…
Yesterday, I listened to the 2/5/18 podcast of “The Catholic Connection” talk radio show featuring moderator, Jim Havens, and priest-host, David Nix, as they discussed the topic, “Do Catholics Read the Bible Literally?”
Traditionalist priest Nix decried the fact that many Catholic clerics and laypersons do not hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible; that many believe the miracles of the Old Testament (and perhaps even some of the miracles in the New Testament) are mythical stories designed only to teach a moral or spiritual lesson.
Nix then argued for an hour for a literal understanding of the Bible when a literal understanding is called for. Peppered throughout his presentation was his argument that Catholics could embrace Biblical literalism without checking their intellect at the door, unlike “mindless backwater Baptists.” Huh? “Mindless backwater Baptists”? Yes, that is the exact phrase priest Nix used several times in his presentation.
So, when Catholics like Nix embrace the words of Scripture literally, they can do so with intellectual integrity, but Baptists are evidently “mindless” and incapable of such.
Now, I don’t take any personal offense to Nix referring to rural or even urban Baptists as “mindless.” To my way of thinking, it’s always refreshing to hear Catholic clergy take off the namby-pamby ecumenical gloves and communicate with honesty. I’m actually glad Nix reads the Bible and advises his fellow Catholics to read it (most don’t) and trust in it as the Word of God. Perhaps when they read the Bible, the Holy Spirit will also enlighten them to the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and free them from the legalistic chains and ritualism of Roman Catholicism.
“An enraged Pope Paul V, in 1606, told the Venetian ambassador, ‘Do you not know that so much reading of Scripture ruins the Catholic religion?’” – from “The Reformation: A History” by Diarmaid MacCulloch, 1972, pp. 393-394, quoting “La Bibbia Al Rogo: la censura ecclesiastica e i volgarizzamenti della Scrittura (1471-1605),” by Gigliola Fragnito
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthian 1:26-31