My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible

Plain speaking. Refreshing.

CNN Belief Blog

Editor’s note: Steven James is the author of more than 30 books, including “Flirting with the Forbidden,” which explores forgiveness.

By Steven James, Special to CNN

(CNN) — The Bible is a gritty book. Very raw. Very real. It deals with people just like us, just as needy and screwed up as we are, encountering a God who would rather die than spend eternity without them.

Yet despite that, it seems like Christians are uncomfortable with how earthy the Bible really is. They feel the need to tidy up God.

For example, look in any modern translation of Isaiah 64:6, and you’ll find that, to a holy God, even our most righteous acts are like “filthy rags.” The original language doesn’t say “filthy rags”; it says “menstrual rags.” But that sounds a little too crass, so let’s just call them filthy instead.

And let’s not talk so much about…

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