Last week the editors of GQ magazine released a list of “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” The list included many acclaimed literary classics by authors like Earnest Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy, but perhaps the most shocking of all was number 12: the Bible.
For each book the GQ editors nixed, they listed titles that you should read instead.
The magazine stated that “not all the Great Books have aged well. Some are racist and some are sexist, but most are just really, really boring. So we — and a group of un-boring writers — give you permission to strike these books from the canon.”
The editors did not waste a breath with the entry regarding the Bible, not only bashing the holy book itself but Christianity as a whole.
In the article, they argue that the Bible is “rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.”
And though they admit that there are good parts to it, they ultimately conclude that man has written better.
The GQ editors propose that instead of reading the Bible, people should read “The Notebook” by Agota Kristof.
They describe “The Notebook” as a “marvelous tale of two brothers who have to get along when things get rough. The subtlety and cruelty of this story is like that famous sword stroke (from below the boat) that plunged upward through the bowels, the lungs, and the throat and into the brain of the rower.”
If you are wondering who wrote the provocative Bible entry, it’s no other than Jesse Ball, a self-described fabulist and absurdist. It is unclear whether Ball himself, an author known for his nihilistic musings, has ever actually read the Bible. According to the L.A. Times, his novels “frequently depict people painfully locked in futile pursuits, unable to see or understand, much less affect, the systems that entrap them… .”
On Sunday, Father Jonathan Morris, a Fox News religion contributor, told “Fox & Friends” that having the Bible on the list was, “just foolish and a shame.”
“Even if you don’t believe this is an inspired word of God, in the last 50 years 3.9 billion people have read this book, 3.9 billion Bibles have been published,” Morris added. “That dwarfs every other book has been read in the last 50 years.”
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) April 22, 2018
Franklin Graham also took to Facebook, not surprisingly disagreeing with GQ, stating that “there’s nothing more powerful, and there’s nothing more needed by mankind than the Word of God. Maybe the GQ editors need to read it, again.”
GQ magazine just included the Bible in “21 books you don’t have to read before you die.” Wow—they couldn’t be more…
Christian author and radio host Eric Metaxas tweeted his thoughts regarding the list:
— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) April 22, 2018
“If there is a person on the planet who cares what @GQMagazine has to say about literature, I’d love to meet that person,” Metaxas wrote. “And pray for him.”
Other books on GQ’s list included: “The Catcher in the Rye,” “The Old Man and the Sea,” “A Farewell to Arms,” “The Lord of the Rings” series, “Catch-22,” “Slaughterhouse-Five,” and “Gulliver’s Travels.”
Maybe they should stick to what they do best (whatever that is?) and leave the literary criticism to the professionals.