Recently, I came across a very interesting article by Roger Olson, Professor of Theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. It was entitled, Games (Some) Theologians Play. Olson is basically challenging some of the unfortunate ploys (or games) that he finds amongst some theologians.
I want to, first, quote the 3 games he notes. Then I want to add some of my own thoughts along a similar vein.
Yesterday, an article was posted at the Baker Academic blog entitled Ten Guidelines for Evangelical Scholarship. It was written by Donald Hagner, George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Senior Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary.
The thrust of the article is this: helping evangelicals engage with critical scholarship. It’s a challenge, at times, to read critical scholarship. No doubt about it! Especially for the one who desires to maintain a robust faith historically connected to the Christian faith of 2000 years, but who also enjoys engaging with such academic scholarship, examining some of the historical, literary and textual challenges with regards to Scripture.
It’s no easy task and I am no expert in this field.
Still, I found these guidelines produced by Hagner as a very helpful summary. I add in a little commentary on each point. Continue reading
I am currently reading a book which I am greatly appreciating. It’s entitled God’s Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship. The book is a 400-pager given to us by author Kenton Sparks, professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University.
Maybe the title is not the most drawing of titles for a book. But I have appreciated interacting with the thoughts a well-studied PhD professor who desires both to maintain a belief in the God-breathed and authoritative nature of Scripture while also faithfully engaging in the world of historical-biblical criticism. And I would say this is also my own aspiration, at least to some degree. Would I agree with every approach of Sparks? No. Still, I find it a very solid evangelical work, similarly in the vein of Peter Enns’ Inspiration and Incarnation. Such a combined goal of maintaining a faith-filled focus and scholarly effort is not easy. But, from what I have read thus far, being about half-way through, Sparks has done well. Continue reading
For some, they feel the deep call into the world of academia. For others, not so much. And there is everything else in between.
Of course, there is also the extreme of seeing the world of academia non-important, especially when it comes to dealing with biblical studies and theology.
And then one can swing the pendulum to far to the other side top where study never leads to the life of Christ, but to being puffed up in knowledge (1 Cor 8:1), even pushing one away from Christ (i.e. John 5:39-40). Continue reading