The Bible I'm reading for the Mark blogging is the HarperCollins Study Bible, which I picked up on Telford's recommendation after I got frustrated with another study Bible's lame and condescending footnotes. I try not to look at footnotes too much when I'm reading, but they can be helpful in the obscure bits, such as all the then-current political events mentioned in Isaiah.
When it comes to lame and condescending, though, it sounds like my old Bible was nothing compared to Revolve, a new hybrid crossing the New Testament with a teen-girl magazine. Christianity Today has a highly entertaining decimation:
In a sidebar titled "Top Ten Things to Know About a Revolve Girl," rule number one is that "Revolve girls don't call guys." In a September 14 interview in The New York Times Magazine, Whaley tried to defend this rule by saying: "There's no indication from Scripture that Mary Magdalene ever picked up the phone and called Christ."
It's a bad comparison however you look at it. But interviewer Deborah Solomon outdoes Whaley's anachronistic phone analogy. In an unmistakable sign that she got her Bible knowledge from that reliable historical source The Last Temptation of Christ, Solomon tells Whaley: "But Mary Magdalene, who was Christ's girlfriend, favored low necklines and loads of jewelry," and "You could argue that Christ was drawn to [Mary Magdalene] precisely because of her flamboyant clothing."
But at least one of Solomon's pronouncements is right on: "It's positively regressive for Revolve to suggest that God made men to be leaders in romance." Not only is it regressive; it's unbiblical. The "Revolve Girls do not call guys" rule sounds like something that belongs not in the Bible, but in a teen version of The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right," Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider's manual that teaches women how to deceive the men they want.
In one of the few examples available to us from the Bible, the protagonist of the Book of Ruth takes the initiative. At her mother-in-law's suggestion, she lies down at Boaz's feet to let him know she is, ummm, interested. If she lived today, I'm sure she would pick up the phone and invite him to dinner.
Add to this a great sense of caution over girls and guys praying—yes, praying—together present throughout the book. The editors published the opinion of a boy in "Guys Speak Out" who believes that girls and guys should not pray together before engagement! Another boy, when asked if girls and guys can pray together, advises everyone not to "get carried away."
OK, this is like shooting fish in a barrel, and I have to get back to work. But it's kind of creepy to think what effect this is having on thousands of teenage girls out there.
(Via such small hands.)Posted by Camassia at September 17, 2003 12:18 PM | TrackBack