That Smells Like…

Posted: May 3, 2012 in books, controversy, evangelicalism, humor, quotes

The King James is better than most, translating one particular word here [in Philippians 3:8] as dung.  The word is skubalon, and means in the first place some kind of animal excrement.  And this verse helps show the problem we are in- Paul does teach elsewhere that we are to avoid filthiness in our speech, coarse jesting, and so on (Eph. 5:4).  But we have taken this and over-refined it, absolutizing it in terms of latent-Victorian sensibilities.  As a result we simply cannot imagine the lofty sentiment of this wonderful passage (e.g., the “excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord”) functioning in the same sentence with dog shit.  But there it is-Paul has scraped all self-important, prim and proper, fussy-tidy religion off the bottom of his shoe.  Why?  That he might win Christ. …

And depend upon it- modern evangelicals will be far more upset with my use of a certain phrase in the passage above than they are by the fact that many of our popular religious practices, customs, and superstitions smell like that phrase.

– Doug Wilson, A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking, 64-65


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