TV anchors playing theologians on television

Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC just had a segment on what appears to be a long-running fued with Fox’s retiring Glenn Beck. It was a silly segment about him criticizing Beck for crying on the air, and Beck mocking O’Donnell for crying.  But then O’Donnell did what almost no national media personality should ever do–he tried to be an expert on the Bible.

Evidently Beck tried his hand at biblical eschatology a few weeks ago, when he said the Japan nuclear crisis fit in with Revelation’s description of the end times–and that the end of the world may be imminent.  It was risky for Beck, the TV anchor, to do so.

But it was even more odd for O’Donnell to say that Beck was acting as though he believed everything the Bible said, when even he doesn’t believe the parts of the Bible that call for death to the adulterer, blasphemer, Sabbath breaker, or to many other brands of sinner.  “Everyone knows these days that the Bible was wrong about that,” O’Donnell said.  “No sane person believes that the entire Old and New Testament is literally true.”

Thanks for that clarification pastor O’Donnell.  The Bible is so last millenium. 

But it seems there been some theological discussion about the harsh laws of the Old Testament, which people of Christian and Jewish faith agree do not apply today in the same way they did to the Jewish people when Moses presented God’s law.  But was the Bible wrong?

Only to TV anchors playing theologians on televison.

There are many interpretation of why God’s law was so harsh.  One explanation is that sin was destroying the human race and needed to be restrained. The Law had serious side effects of condemnation and guilt.  It was God showing us that we could never measure up to His holy standard. It was given to drive us from self-righteousness and toward grace.

If we took a poll today, the majority would believe that God should have chosen a kinder and gentler form of discipline for law breakers. But a wiser course for us would be to study the whole counsel of God in the Scriptures and learn more about why a good God uses justice and mercy to bring His people to salvation. And why you can believe that truth without believing that Old Testament law must be literally applied today. 

But hey,  I’m not a theologian.  And neither are MSNBC or Fox News anchors.


About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group ( Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Jim Jewell, News media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to TV anchors playing theologians on television

  1. Pingback: NUCLEAR WAR 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s