Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The blasphemous heterodoxy of Sabeel

Read Paul Wilkinson's report on the 2004 conference of the Sabeel Ecumenical Palestinian Liberation Theology Center, here, needs to be read to be believed. Sabeel appears to be able to accommodate all shades of theological opinion, including Jesuits, Feminists, New-Agers and Evangelicals, as long as they are opposed to the state of Israel.

Mitri Raheb, the Director of the International Centre of Bethlehem, for example, in his “alternative reading” of Acts 1:6-11 described Christ’s disciples as “nationalistic”, “narrow-minded”, and “blinded” to the future.

Fr Peter du Brul, S.J. commenced his Bible study” of Genesis 12:1-3 – which was apparently peppered with profanities – with the comment, “The gods must be crazy”.

It seems that the late Revd Dr Michael Prior, who was Chairman of the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain and a member of the International Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Islamic Jerusalem Studies, was the most outspoken critic of the Scriptures among the speakers. Speaking of the authors of the biblical narratives, Prior said, “It seems to me that they were very narrow minded, xenophobic, perhaps militaristic spin-headed bigots. The Church is full of them, full of them!”

Prior declared that the Bible should carry the warning: “This is a dangerous book. Reading it may damage somebody else’s health” He referred to Joshua as “the patron-saint of ethnic cleansers” and “a continuous genocidist” and called the conquest of Canaan “an abomination”.

All of which begs the question: why does this professing evangelical support Sabeel?

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