The Pen

#MooreTripe: Beth Moore’s “The Beloved Disciple” – Chapter 1

This post marks the first in a series of many in which I will read through Beth Moore’s books and provide chapter-by-chapter reactions to what America’s most popular female Bible teacher has written to her massive audience.  The name of this series, which is hopefully self-explanatory, is #MooreTripe.    The posts in this series will be less book review and more running commentary.  It is my hope that this commentary provides pastors, education ministers, and husbands helpful insights into what LifeWay Christian Resources has been foisting upon their church members, and particularly wives, for years.  I begin with Moore’s 2003 book, The Beloved Disciple.

Chapter 1 – Since that Time

“The year was A.D. 28, give or take a few. For a chosen people who hadn’t heard a word from God in four centuries, life was pretty good. The Jews had covered their insecurities with a blanket of sameness. The absence of a fresh encounter with God had them clutching to what they had left—the Law. Interesting, isn’t it? The Hebrew people climbed to the summit of their legalism during the silent years between Malachi and Matthew. That’s what really religious people do when they don’t have much of a relationship with God.” – p. 4

Life was not “pretty good” for Israel.  God’s people were under Roman (pagan) subjugation.  One thing that was good, however, was the law.  The law was good and God’s people should have been clinging to it.  Paul wrote in Galatians 3-23:

“But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.” 

It’s nonsense to imply that a lack of a “fresh” encounter with God was somehow a problem with regard to the law.  God’s word is enduring and the Jews of the 1st Century had a canonized Old Testament whose scriptures were just as relevant then as they were when delivered to Moses and the Prophets.  The law came from God.  How could it not have been something to cling to?  Beth Moore begins her book with an emphasis on the experiential…not a good start.

“The Hebrew people wanted to know what they could expect out of life, so they formed themselves an expectation and enforced it with a vengeance. They arranged life the way they wanted it, threw it over their heads like a security blanket, and hid from change. I can relate. I’ve done the same thing a few times.” – p. 5

Says what historian? This is Moore trying to eisegete a dodgy contemporary church into 1st century Palestine. The Jews hardly “hid from change” as a peculiar people under Roman rule. Furthermore there was diversity of thought within Jewish life at the time – Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, and Essenes.  Five pages into this book and I’m drowning in nonsense.

A commentary on Chapter 2 is forthcoming.

Until then, I would humbly commend to your reading, two of my own books:

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant