How do you deal with biblical literaryists

Pretty sheepish

Christianity is dissolving - and that's a good thing. After all, it has been scientifically and existentially refuted. Even your own appendix gives it away. Apart from that: nobody understood this belief anyway. This is roughly the serious thesis of Stefan Bonner and Anne Weiss, which they present in their book "Heilige Scheiße" with breathtaking indifference. With so much chutzpah, nobody has served his Christian eater credo for a long time. What drove the authors to write this book, which they themselves market as a description of a godless generation?

Of course, one could limit oneself to the findings: The authors and Lübbe editors have already landed a hit on the book market with "Generation Doof". And the fact that a successful debut is followed by a hastily copied second is now more the rule than the exception. But does greed for circulation really explain why the team of authors quickly gossip about a 2000 year old path in life? Or is there still a deeper driving force behind it?

In any case, one ruled out: the driven nature of the over-educated. No, Bonner and Weiss were not pressured by the excess of their education. They did not need a valve to give expression to the mass of what had been thought and known. On the contrary. A sample: What "science" thinks of God, they deal with the one hint that, according to the British physicist Stephen Hawking, "God never existed" (researchers who believe in God such as Planck, Einstein and many other Nobel Prize winners are ignored). Aha. So science has established. Their understanding of the Christian faith is almost painfully thoughtless. In all seriousness they reduce it to the assumption that there is "a man on the cloud", the "man with the bushy beard". It has not escaped the notice of the authors that Christians do not find themselves in this definition. The book tells of pastors who put their creed in different words and understood God "as something transcendent, as the origin of all life, of the universe", who is not materially present and hidden in everything that exists.

This definition seems more acceptable to Bonn. Which is why he concludes razor-sharp that it has "nothing to do with Christianity", rather with "Far Eastern beliefs". So that's how it is: Those who hold on to the joke of the bearded man on the cloud are Christian, while those who develop an adult faith have said goodbye to Christianity. Although this caricature of the Christian image of God has no foundation in 2000 years of lived faith, it offers a writing advantage: Those who build up Christianity as a cardboard comrade can then blow it wonderfully - admittedly, often in humorous formulations and sleek construction kit sets.

The writer's strategy is also likely to be responsible for the book's greatest flaw: the tendency to completely ignore liberal, historical and allegorical Christianity (although university theologians in this country even interpret their Bible in a historical-critical way have to ). This ignorance is logical, because an intellectually satisfactory faith would shake the caricature of the dumb Christian fixated on letters, and consequently the basis of the book.

In Bonner and Weiss, for example, the faith of a nominal 2.1 billion people congeals into a reflection-free fundamentalism that holds every word in the Bible to be literally true. According to the authors, Christians followed a blood-drinking God who ordered the death penalty in the Old Testament as lightly as the prophet Muhammad later. Christians also believed in scientifically impossible nonsense like the virgin birth and resuscitated corpses. The team of authors even went one step further in order to nail down their own image of the enemy and proclaimed that the biblical statements are "not an allegory", so they should not be understood symbolically.

Who, please, can tell free people how to understand 2000 year old stories? Who could ask their authors what they meant? Have Bonner and Weiss swallowed a dogma of infallibility? In addition, it almost borders on character assassination, which the hobby religion critics withholding everything: that the resurrection and especially the virgin birth are no longer even understood by all Catholic theologians as biological facts; or that the overwhelming majority of European theologians naturally regard the biblical texts as symbolic rather than factually true (true to the pointed motto of the US scholar Marcus Borg: "The Bible is true - and some of it has happened").

But they also suppress the undisputed conviction of Europe's theological chairs, according to which the biblical image of God increased in goodness and humanity over the millennia and struggled out of archaic beginnings. Yes, according to the prevailing theologian view, the Christian spirit of love has even developed beyond the moral concepts that were valid in the early community - not a word of it in Bonner and Weiss. Perhaps this unfairness can be explained by the fact that the authors have had too many bad experiences with organized Christianity. In any case, their criticism of the actually existing church is understandable in some places. For example, when they scoff at religious instruction with little substance, at formal church services, in which those who are strangers to the church only feel stranger, or when they rub against religious permissons (such as Dolorism): That Mother Teresa should have withheld painkillers from suffering patients so that they "can" "Being able to share suffering with Christ" should not only cause nausea for the authors.

Speaking of the book's strengths: the authors are competent in attracting amusing ignoramuses. They already succeeded in doing this in the "Generation Doof". In the current book, they continue this in the chapter on the religious illiteracy of contemporary Germans. There they tell of a pastor whom a woman rushing up wanted to help up when he knelt in front of the altar. Then they quote from a survey: When asked what the names of the three kings were, some answered "Jaspar, Melchior, Benedikt", the others "Balthasar, Valerian and another one". And when asked (admittedly: unfair) "what became of Jesus and Christ", a family man declares firmly: "They crucified him, the one". A church member who resigned by email to the pastor because he could no longer bear the "Pope and his antiquated views" also seems quite funny. Small catch: the man was Protestant.

Between such roars, something else shimmers through in some places: serious questions. "Would it make sense if there was a world leader running a chaotic store like our earth?" And what kind of Almighty must it be who wants a world with so much suffering? The authors ask. Such questions are instructive because they point to a de facto fundamentalist understanding of the Bible on which they are based. Apparently the authors have heard that the Bible occasionally calls God "omnipotent". From this they conclude like staunch literalists: For Christians the terrible is willed by God - although even conservative theologians like Klaus Berger have long valued the divine "omnipotence" as a poetic expression for the fact that at the end of all times, but not now, God will win.

On top of that, the Bible begins with the first people flying out of paradise, that is, out of the world willed by God. And towards the end of the Bible follows the story of a man loved by God who was crucified despite all kindness. From then on, his disciples taught that this world was ruled by dark "powers and powers". How can one claim that the Christian God wants and controls everything that is terrible in this world?