The Godsend, by author Greg Tharpe, takes a new look at the Bible as the most authoritative guide for worldly and spiritual success. The book shows a new and consistent way of reading the Bible in order to use it as such a guide.
Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) October 13, 2005 — The Bible is the guidebook for spiritual success for close to 25% of the world’s population.
How exactly is this “spiritual success” measured?
But many would argue that disputes over its message have caused as much harm as good, and that it isn’t much of a guide for worldly success.
I don’t recall Jesus (the hero of the Bible, for those who have forgotten, like this guy) saying anything about “worldly success”–except maybe a denouncement of it. May I remind you of Matthew 16:26: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” I’m sure the Grand Inquisitor could go in for some worldly success (he is, after all, suffering for your freedom and worldy happiness):
Thou (to Christ) wouldst not deprive man of freedom and didst reject the offer, thinking, what is that freedom worth if obedience is bought with bread? Thou didst reply that man lives not by bread alone. But dost Thou know that for the sake of that earthly bread the spirit of the earth will rise up against Thee and will strive with Thee and overcome Thee, and all will follow him, crying, “Who can compare with this beast? He has given us fire from heaven!”
“The Bible is a fantastic guide,” says Godsend author Greg Tharpe, “but only when it’s rightly understood.
I’ll add a heartfelt “Amen” to that brother, but I think, unfortunately, you are the one wrongly understanding the Bible.
May I remind you of what Fr. John Romanides says:
In the hands of neurologically sick people the Bible becomes a source of «uncontrollable fantasies.» And indeed religion is one of the most dangerous. Instead of being a manual for the cure of the sickness of religion the Bible becomes a book for the propagation of the sickness of religion.
…the expressions about God in the Bible are not intended to convey concepts about God. They act only as means to guide one to the purification and illumination of the heart and finally to glorification by the Pre-Incarnate and Incarnate Lord (Yaweh) of Glory which is to see Him by means of His uncreated glory or rule and not by means of ephemeral created symbols and concepts about Him as is the case in the Augustinian tradition.
And from Met. Hierotheos: (note: Fathers applies to writers of the Bible)
When we take the Fathers out of the spirit of asceticism, of repentance, we divide them. And every division is a change for the worse. All of the heretics did the same. They used the passages without understanding them, without having the prerequisites of interpreting them correctly. We should therefore carry out the “watchword” which prevails in our times – “return to the Fathers” – not only by studying the texts of the Fathers but also by making the effort of acquiring the life of the Fathers. We should live in the holy Church, live with the holy Mysteries and the holy virtues, stop being individuals and start living like persons, as worthy members of Christ.
According to Tharpe’s book, there is a consistent way to read the Bible that brings out a clearer message. He shows readers how to interpret the Bible for themselves while coming from a spiritual perspective rather than a natural one.
Ah, yes, interpreting the Bible for oneself, the highest virtue of Protestantism…
Likewise, the book shows how the Bible is the number one guide for worldly success, so long as it’s considered from this higher perspective.
If one were interpreting the Bible correctly I would imagine it would be on the “worlds worst books for worldly success”…
“God doesn’t want us to suffer through life just to achieve happiness in another world,” says Tharpe. “This world is practice for the next, so why would you endure poverty and suffering here to practice for love and happiness in heaven? The Bible shows us how to succeed on Earth through spiritual means rather than through natural means, and that is the big difference.”
I don’t know where to begin on this one…
For anyone even remotely familiar with the ascetic spirit of Christianity this is simply an absurd statement. For reference I point you to a little collection called the Philokalia.I guess he did get one thing right, “this world is practice for the next”. But thinking again it’s not really “practice” it is purification and theosis (at least for those interpreting the Bible correctly).
Let’s see what St. Paul says,
“But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, love, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra – what persecutions I endured: but the Lord delivered me out of them all. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3, 10-12).