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Episode 494: Falwell Fallout & How Not to Read the Bible with Dan Kimball


Jerry Falwell Jr. is doing damage control following his profile in Vanity Fair (discussed at length in last month’s French Friday episode). He’s even posted a statement of faith affirming his Christian beliefs. But does that make his behavior better or worse? And how does populism explain his criticism of “religious elites” while enjoying all the benefits of being a religious elite? Is Falwell the victim of nepotism, and should ministry be a family business?


Then, a researcher argues that a toxic reaction to the Religious Right can explain a bunch of cultural, political, and religious trends—including the rise of the “nones” and unchecked conspiracy theories. And data suggests Democrats project their moral belief onto their candidates, while Republicans adopt the moral beliefs of their candidates. Then, Skye talks to Dan Kimball about his book and video series, How Not to Read the Bible, about why it’s critical for churches to welcome questions and doubts, and how the biblical ignorance of leaders is driving young people to find answers outside the church.


News Segment 0:00 - Intro and updates from the crew 8:22 - Falwell fallout https://twitter.com/JerryFalwellJr/status/1486903286556938241?s=20&t=XaamDWl84N8x0qY4wbtRtw



25:39 - Article: “The backlash against rightwing evangelicals is reshaping American politics and faith” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/25/the-backlash-against-rightwing-evangelicals-is-reshaping-american-politics-and-faith



Sponsor 51:40 - Faithful Counseling: faithfulcounseling.com/holypost


Interview with Dan Kimball 52:53 - Interview start and intro 55:41 - Personal stories that led to the book/series 1:02:04 - Church as a factor 1:05:02 - Broader culture as a factor 1:15:24 - Personal conversion story 1:21:16 - Exclusivity issue 1:31:19 - End


Resources mentioned: hownottoreadthebible.com

“How (Not) to Read the Bible: Making Sense of the Anti-women, Anti-science, Pro-violence, Pro-slavery and Other Crazy-Sounding Parts of Scripture” - https://amzn.to/3HmHviQ


“How (Not) to Read the Bible” Study Guide plus Streaming Video - https://amzn.to/3ujSIwT


The Holy Post is supported by our listeners. We may earn affiliate commissions through links listed here. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.




19 Comments


I just listened to the "Jerry Falwell" episode, and I appreciate the analysis of the drift away from the Evangelical church as a consequence of the rise of Christian Nationalism. A related area that I would be interested to hear your thoughts on is the reality of Christian Nationalists leaving their conservative, Evangelical churches because they view these churches as being either too cooperative with "corrupt" government or too "woke." This is what I am seeing at turf level among churches that cooperated with COVID mitigation mandates or that acknowledged that systemic racism might be real. It's probably a difficult thing to assess statistically, given that most of these people that I know are not leaving church altogether, but transferring…

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Breeanna Bossier
Breeanna Bossier
Feb 10, 2022

This is a little ridiculous for me to admit, but I just made the connection between Skye and his book "With" while listening to this episode. "With" was a book that was very impactful to me in college. It helped me understand my relationship with God and highlighted some unhealthy perspectives in my life. I can't believe I didn't realize that Skye Jethani, author of "With", was also Skye Jethani, podcast host of the Holy Post. So silly of me, but a very pleasant revelation!

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Skye Jethani
Skye Jethani
Feb 11, 2022
Replying to

Glad the book was so helpful.

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Bruce
Bruce
Feb 06, 2022

First off, I really like The Holy Post. I also just stepped aside after 46 years of Pastoral Ministry so it helps me to stay current and causes me to think. How could I ever continue without, ”News of the Butt.” This last podcast I really appreciated Dan Kimball and him giving practical answers to the tough questions. I do want to comment a bit the discussion of the religious left. Phil used the comment most mainline denominations are in that group. Most mainline denominations deny the authority of scripture and the gospel is not recognizable. Then several more “left“ leaders were mentioned. Christian, I thank God for you but before you throw yourself into that camp, I w…

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Phil Vischer
Phil Vischer
Feb 07, 2022
Replying to

Thanks Bruce! Really appreciate the feedback. Phil

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Devotion … As Skye laid out the three Ds of Deconstructionists and then summarized his thoughts down to Differentiation, I couldn’t help but think of the word Devotion.

Luke 14:25-33 makes it abundantly clear that you “cannot be my disciple” if you don’t “hate” his “father … his own life”, “bear his own cross and come after me” and “renounce all that he has”.


And Matthew 7:24 is also pretty clear about our ability to serve two masters.

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Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Feb 04, 2022

At one point, Christian asks "who is the Religious Left" and I wanted to scream out "we are the disillusioned and the disciples, we are your audience" . Some will take offense to that classification, but if given the options of religious-right, non-religious right, religious-left, and non-religious left (in their current incarnations), I'd pick religious-left or more appropriately "follower of Jesus."

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