A new interpretation of the Bible challenges both its detractors and apologists.
The Bible is notorious for its internal contradictions, which critics take as a reason to reject its revelatory authority and defenders refuse to acknowledge. The Gatekeeper (The Gospel Matrix, 2015) adopts a different exegetical approach. The author concedes that there are, in fact, numerous inconsistencies but claims that they are all purposeful, inserted in order to point audiences in the direction of a higher truth. To understand the experiential value of these incongruities, a literal interpretation must be discarded in favor of one that accepts the allegorical character of the Bible. The author’s tour of the Bible is a thorough one, covering all the Gospels, the book of Revelation, and Paul’s letters, to name a small but central sampling. The Gatekeeper contends that the Christian church is really a corrupt institution, something revealed when the Bible is properly understood. The author revisits key passages, especially regarding the “body of Christ” and the “bride of Christ,” to tease out their correct meanings. One of the chief arguments of the book is an epistemological one—humanity is caught in a “matrix” that occludes unfettered access to objective reality, but the time is fast approaching when the truth can be fully disclosed. That truth will include the transcendence of the shallow vision of God as a distinct person who governs humans in favor of an all-pervasive intelligence. The Gatekeeper’s erudition is impressive, including the author’s grasp of the Bible as well as the scholarly commentary devoted to it. In addition, The Gatekeeper’s aims are not only ambitious, but are also exercised with great spiritedness—he openly challenges Bart Ehrman, a pre-eminent critic of the Bible. But the whole work is written in a gratuitously hectoring, peremptory tone, dismissing disagreement as either evil or stupid; at one point he refers to intellectual competitors as “archontic parasites.” Furthermore, the author never tires of informing the reader how revolutionary this book is, apparently a fount of sublime truth, a self-congratulatory conceit that quickly becomes tiresome.
Despite this study’s striking and provocative scholarship, many readers will likely be put off by its bombastic style.