Monday 18 July 2011

If it's good enough for Alvin...

If it's good enough for Alvin... he's smart.
Scott Bailey has an illuminating, if somewhat jaw-dropping, quote from Alvin Plantinga regarding historical criticism of the Bible.
There is no compelling or even reasonably decent argument for supposing the procedures and assumptions of historical biblical criticism are to be preferred to those of traditional biblical commentary.
Theological flat-earthers like Plantinga tend to make statements like that, and all the apologetic hounds lift their noses to the skies and bay in chorus.

Of course that's his opinion, and he's welcome to it, but it's not written as an opinion, nor received by the long-eared pack as one. It's written as a clear statement of fact, and on that basis it's... rubbish.

Bailey comments: "It seems I keep hearing “thinkers” all across the ideological spectrum who are encouraging people not to think! Whatever you do: do not look at the evidence."

No, take it on 'faith'... my faith.  Take my word for it. Don't you worry your silly little head about it; just go back to sleep and let me do all the thinking for you.

Is treating the 'laity' as children - fostering their dependence, and whispering reassuring lies in their ears - half-baked opinions parading as fact - even ethical?  Is this scholarship?  

Thanks Alvin, but no thanks.


  1. Did Plantinga really say that? Is he kidding? Why does he even call himself a "philosopher?" He's a philosopher only secondarily, but primarily his job appears to be that of "excuse inventor" for some books he considers inspired, and for a few specific religious creeds that were voted on by less than inerrant human voters. Asimov's classic article on the Relativity of Wrong is apparently something Plantinga never considered.

  2. ...sounds par for the course, for a professing Christian.

    You can't actually be surprised at this, Gavin?