Today’s guest quote is by Brian McLaren, from A New Kind of Christianity:

Fundamentalism—whether in its Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Pentecostal, or Orthodox form (for it exists in all streams of Christian faith)—again and again paints itself into a corner by requiring that the Bible be treated as a divinely dictated science textbook providing us true information in all areas of life, including when and how the earth was created, what the shape of the earth is, what revolves around what in space, and so on.

This approach has set up Christians on the wrong side of truth again and again—from Galileo’s time, to Darwin’s, to our own. For example, I remember in my younger years hearing preachers passionately decry psychology and psychiatry; the only relevant categories in the Bible were disobedience and demon possession, so there was no place for counseling or lithium or Prozac. As a pastor, I heard stories of suicides committed by young Christians whose churches would not allow them to get psychiatric help, including one from the former president of a seminary whose sister was one of the casualties. She had been counseled by her pastor to pray and fast as the only “biblical cure” for depression and forbidden to seek professional help; that pastor, it turned out, had been trained at the seminary led by the woman’s brother. Similarly destructive patterns of Bible abuse are being repeated even now. Many pious people deny our environmental crises by quoting Bible verses and mocking science. Just as they were the last to acknowledge the rotation of the earth and its revolution around the sun, they’ll be the last to acquiesce to what science is telling us about our growing ecological crises.