Friday 10 June 2011


Tim Henderson asks the question: can Historical Jesus work be done by those affirming inerrancy?

Good question. Easy answer (forgive my hopeless naivete): yes.

Yes of course, and they do, book loads by the bucketful.

Can responsible, credible HJ work be done be inerrantists? Easy answer again: nope. As Tim concludes: "is the necessary conclusion already present before the endeavor has even begun?"

Rhetorical question, but I'll bite anyway. Absolutely. As someone once said (I do believe it may have been me), never trust an apologist. Ever.

Take a certain well known and widely published scholar (please, someone?) over at Dallas Theological Seminary.  He is doubtless a fine fellow, kind to small animals and children, who flosses regularly. He also has great academic qualifications, no question. But he teaches (to use that term in its broadest sense) at an institution that, as far as I can tell, demands the intellectual castration of its teaching staff. An exaggeration? Well, maybe, but then again, maybe not; just look at what these folk have to affirm.

No wonder that the folk in the pews are confused when they seek the answers to important questions. Arrayed in the path of an honest response are the storm troopers of inerrancy, the apologetic marines, armed to the teeth with really bad works of pseudo-scholarship (probably by graduates of DTS and its kin) to divert the seeker from his or her path. A Zondervan title to the left, an IVP paperback to the right, and Thomas Nelson laying down cover while Crossway drops cumbersome ESV Study Bibles from a great height on anything that still moves.

Worried about 2 Peter being a fraud? Don't worry your silly little head, it says it's completely legit in this nice book by a famous writer who teaches at DTS. Oh look, here's proof in the ESV Study Bible. Now, back to sleep...

And because we all want easy, comfortable answers so our naps don't turn into nightmares, the gigolos do a roaring trade.


  1. Progress in anything human is not made by those who settle in and stop seeking. It is the heretics who end up being more in tune with reality and truth than those who hunt them down. It is the marginalized member or minister who more often than not is the one who is closer to reality than the organization. It is the one who can say "I don't know," who knows the most.

    The rise of both the Dark Ages and the organized Church is no coincidence in history. Take religion out of the news and world peace would break out tomorrow.

    The quiet and critical thinker who does not need to engage others to see it all their way has all the power. An enlightened human being has no need to engage those who live in the dark. Neither will they abide their bullshit.

  2. DTS certainly seems gnostic. Troublesome is their solid stance on the Tribulation.

    Your post is colorful -- a welcome counterpoint to that black and white monochrome world of those who are so very sure they know what the world is really like... If they only knew.

    But these are non scientists. Nothing in this realm is scientific: To be scientific would be troublesome, taken that the world is so static and predictable that everything that needs to be known can be known in inerrancy without any latitude for experimentation, accompanied with the dreadful examation of the intolerable scientific results. It would shake the religious community and we simply couldn't have that, now could we?

    It's being in freefall without a parachute, because when you jumped, you had the absolute faith that the Lord will see to your safe landing.

    Didn't someone somewhere say something about "Prove all things"? Whoever wrote that must be crazy, because we can KNOW, just KNOW, everything we need to without any in depth (gasp!) analysis or discussion. Why, everything is so static, that once we know the ABSOLUTE truth, we're set for all eternity! Let's have none of ths "Grow in grace and knowledge" business! We know what's what and that's that!

    End of discussion.

  3. " institution that, as far as I can tell, demands the intellectual castration of its teaching staff..."

    Another reason to avoid the NET Bible, unless it is a measure of absolutely last resort: The "online study environment" has nothing but articles from DTS, which I found fishy...then I ferreted out the info that the NET "translation" is basically a mouthpiece for DTS. So, definitely, not a translation that can be trusted, in any way, shape, or form, whatsoever. (Even though it's painfully obvious, when their "study notes" stretch the credibility of even their faithless translations, to the breaking point.)

    "...just look at what these folk have to affirm:

    * the Trinity
    * the spiritual lostness of the human race
    * the authority and inerrancy of Scripture."

    All three of which were considered errors, by the teachings of the Worldwide Church of God.

    "Worried about 2 Peter being a fraud?"

    I dunno, the list of textual variants for II Peter seems to be shorter, than the list of textual variants for most of the other 'canonical' books....II Peter also collates material (I quote here from the Wikipedia page) from the Old Testament, and shares many similar passages and "stylistic elements" with the book of Jude.

    So, even if 2 Peter is removed entirely from Biblical "canon" (which was codified, you will recall, by Constantine's Roman Catholic council) the content, the message, and the intent, all still remain in the Bible itself. If you're picky about "canonicity" that is; the WCG never was, and there are articles in the Good News that quote from both the Didache, and the Gospel of Thomas.

    "DTS certainly seems gnostic."

    Reading their "statement of doctrine," DTS strikes me as being very inerrant, and very fundamentalist, in my opinion. Also the unfortunate fact that they proclaim the Mark of the Beast.

    "Troublesome is their solid stance on the Tribulation."

    I noticed that as well, but wasn't troubled by it. (Awful pun, by the way.) Some groups do have some truth(s), after all. This would be where "judge them by their fruits" comes in handy....

    "It is the heretics who end up being more in tune with reality and truth than those who hunt them down."

    Amen, Dennis! Also very true of the Worldwide Church of God, prior to and during, the apostasy.

  4. I thought we were just supposed to "Crow and overgum?"

    I think it was meant as, "Prove all things I have already determined the outcome of..."