Realistic Moments (or, the Bible is a dangerous book)

Some weeks ago, Rachel Held Evans posted some of these funny pictures my dad drew over a decade ago, and they elicited all kinds of responses, some angry, some amused, some whaaats?

I wanted to post them again here, mostly to brag on my dad’s awesome artistic skillz, but also to highlight his own perspective on them.

Dad wrote on RHE’s blog:

For the record, so to speak, I did indeed draw these for my own amusement, over a decade ago.  In doing so I was not for one moment trying to make a mockery of the biblical text.  I am an evangelical Christian, and a rather conservative one at that.  What I was mocking was what my generation called the “Jesus junk” that fills so many Christian bookstore. For the Bible is, whether we like it or not, filled with some dark and scary stories that are definitely not safe for the wee ones.

Put another way, the target of my humor is not the Bible; it is those who make a buck turning the sacred text into sappy sentimentalism.  

The Bible is a strange book, an ancient book, a book that has been used to condone evil (like slavery.)

What say you, readers?

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8 thoughts on “Realistic Moments (or, the Bible is a dangerous book)

  1. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by the negative comments, as satire is a form of humor that is easily misunderstood. Nevertheless it bothered me to see people thinking that I was making light of the biblical texts, when in fact I was trying to do the very opposite!

    It is precisely because I do take the Bible seriously that I did these in the first place. In the Bible I see the real world, the world as I have seen and experienced it: a place of great pain, sorrow, injustice, tragedy, etc. The Bible affirms what I see every day: that this world is a terribly broken place, where even the best things are tainted by the Fall.

    The good news, of course, is that in Jesus Christ God Himself has stepped into this dreadful mess we’ve made to fix it forever!

    So I guess more than anything I was simply trying to say, through parody, that the Bible is not a sweet little story book. We should teach it to our children, of course (in an age-appropriate manner), but it is not cute and sentimental.

    Come to think of it, neither are the classic fairy tales I heard growing up. Those are pretty dark and scary too!

    • Right there with you, Rachel’s Dad! Sappy sentimentalism toward the Bible is just as dangerous and irresponsible as more blatantly antagonistic mis-readings of the Scripture.

      Can you do a treatment of Abraham sacrificing Isaac in Genesis 22? How about Saul standing over the cloaks during the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7? Uriah standing alone as the army of Israel withdrew and left him standing defenseless before the enemy? Just a thought ;-)


      • If I remember correctly, I did these after reading of the restitution to the Gibeonites in 2 Samuel 21. The image of that poor woman watching over those bodies for months–a sad and gruesome vigil if ever there was one. But of course that is just the sort of grim horror that happens every day here, in between Gen. 3 and Rev. 20. Sentimentalism has always troubled me because by minimizing the brokenness of this world we thus minimize the wonders of His grace.

  2. I saw these on rachael held evan’s blog and took pure joy from these images – I showed them to my husband when he came back from a weekend away and we actually cried from laughing! Both raised on evangelical furvor and very Precious Moments…we LOVED this. I didn’t realize it was your dad, though, that came up with these! How awesome is your family?

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