Gentlemen’s Quarterly Magazine, now GQ, has decided that the Bible is a boring old book and they do not recommend it for reading. This has stirred up many Christians who are trying to defend the holy book.
- RELATED: GQ magazine puts Bible on list of classic books not worth reading, incurs the wrath of Christians: USA Today
If you are a Christian and GQ’s criticism of the Bible offends you, note that you are being had. This is not news, this is a provocative statement invented to bother us and eventually to increase sales of the magazine. You could call it fake news.
I don’t know the circulation numbers for GQ, but in general the print media is in big trouble, as we all switch to the Internet. When I go to the check-out in a supermarket I see large displays of glossy magazines, probably including GQ. What I don’t see is anyone buying a magazine. Someone must be buying those things, just not when I’m looking; that unicorn is invisible to me. We could ask if GQ is worth reading, and we could mention that the Bible is the best selling book in the history of the world. Also note that your are probably reading this online.
So take that GQ.
And then we have the Bible, which is a really boring book. There is no doubt. GQ got that right.
Before you get outraged at me too, and not just GQ; I remember my father reading boring books when I was a boy. He was a millwright, which is an industrial mechanic, and he loved to buy used cars. He would fix them up and then sell them or let his sons drive them. I am very familiar with Studebakers and Ramblers, and I can shift three on the tree.
Dad would put on his reading glasses and study the newspaper classifieds with real fascination as he searched for another used car. I thought this had to be interesting, so I looked at the same pages when he put the paper down. At least I tried, once. For a teenage boy, the classified ads, and then the owner’s repair manuals were awful I was at least as critical as the editors of GQ. No one could read those pages, or no one should. But my Dad was focused and happy.
I’m sure you understand. The owner’s repair manual was gold to a mechanic who was trying to repair another old car that he bought cheap. He had a use for those pages, and that made them interesting.
The Bible is the owner’s repair manual for us. If you don’t see a problem that needs to be corrected in your life, you won’t enjoy that boring old book. When conviction burns in you, and you know that you need to be better, the good book is very good; pure gold.
If you don’t see a problem, you don’t see a solution, and the Bible is a solution.
So, to the editors at GQ, the good book will not be good for you, until you apply it to a personal need. For pure entertainment and hedonism and escapism, I recommend a glossy magazine.
Jesus talked about this mismatch two thousand years ago, when he sent his followers to visit homes in the surrounding villages. ”If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” (Matthew 10: 13 and 13)
Offer God’s solution, and if they don’t want it, move on and divorce yourself from those rejectors by shaking the dust off of your shoes. That was emphatic and dramatic rejection and it meant, don’t keep knocking on a door that will never be opened. There are too many people in the world who feel the need, and who will listen.
The editors at GQ spoke the truth. For some people, the Bible is a boring old book with no entertainment value. It all depends on what we are looking for.
The decrees of the Lord are firm and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19: 9 to 13)