Friday, April 25, 2014

Evangelicalism and Historical Criticism

I'm currently reading through Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism (among other things), and its turning out to be a sobering experience. While I'm aware of the Princeton/Machen fiasco back in the 20s that lead to the founding of Westminster seminary and the subsequent evangelical/fundamentalist debate over historical criticism (evolution being a pertinent example of such tribulations), I had little experience in relation to historical criticism in my upbringing. That's not to make much of anything, just an observation that strikes me as I read about JEDP and other various theories.

So, while I ponder whether or not to shell out $15 for Ehrman's new book, I thought I'd post a quote from the preeminent book that's been bothering me.

"It should now be obvious that this book is as much about theology as it is about historical criticism; in fine, it is about the significance of historical criticism for Christian theology. As the chapters unfold, we will at times find Christian theology utterly unscathed by critical research; on some occasions we will see that certain doctrines might need to be reformulated in the light of new historical insights; and in certain instances we will discover that historical criticism actually enhances out apprehension of God and his self-revelation in Scripture. Simply put, we will see that historical criticism is a tool, one which can be difficult to wield, which can cause damage if misused, but which also can be immensely valuable and constructive if placed in capable hands."

You can read Peter Enn's interview with editor Christopher M. Hays right hurr. I highly recommend the book. I'm on ch2 right now, and this chapter is dealing with Adam and the fall, including original sin in Paul. Very intriguing.


1 comment:

  1. Nice article Nick!
    Where can i get it? and have you read "My Death Experiences" - A Preacher’s 18 Apocalyptic Encounter with Death, Heaven & Hell? You should see what Apostle Zion Odum has to say about her experiences and revelations in her visits to Heaven & Hell.