The Huffington Post ran an interview today with former president Jimmy Carter. The occasion is the release of Carter’s new devotional (or study) Bible based on the NIV. This Bible contains study notes which were written by the 39th president of the United States. Aside from being a former president and now a Nobel Peace Prize winning humanitarian, Carter is well-known for having been a Sunday School teacher for over sixty-five years at his home church of Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, GA.
Carter is the president who famously declared himself a “born again Christian,” and to this day refers to himself as a “deeply committed Christian.”
On its website, Zondervan blurbs that Carter “has taken the Bible’s teachings seriously, implementing them into his life’s work. Now he shares his own insights and life lessons with you, opening up the Scripture in a new and fresh way.”
For those who are unaware, the last thing Carter does is take the Bible’s teachings seriously. Indeed the interview with HuffPo is very revealing. Carter departs from orthodox Christian doctrine on several issues including homosexuality, gay marriage, the reliability and inspiration of Scripture, and the exclusivity of Christ, to name but a few.
While I admire Carter’s compassion for the poor, needy, and displaced, his ability to accurately convey what the Bible really says is found lacking. His brand of inclusive liberal theology is troubling. Simply because his church has trusted him to teach others for many years does not mean what he’s taught is biblical.