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Reading the Gospels both Critically and Evangelically

Michael Bird:

I have to say that there are two approaches to the Gospels which I ardently despise. First, some über-secularists want to read the Bible as nothing more than a deposit of silly ancient magic, mischievous myths, whacky rituals, and surreal superstitions. They engage in endless comparisons of the Bible with other mythic religions to flatten out the distinctive elements of the story. Added to that is advocacy of countless conspiracy theories to explain away any historical elements in the text. This approach is coupled with an inherent distaste for anything supernatural, pre-modern, and wreaking of religion. Such skeptics become positively evangelical in their zealous fervor to prove that nothing in the Bible actually happened. Second, then there are those equally ardent Bible-believers who want to treat the Bible as if it fell down from heaven in 1611, written in ye auld English, bound in pristine leather, words of Jesus in red, complete with Scofield footnotes, and charts about the end-times. Such persons regard exploring topics like Johannine chronology just as religiously affronting as worshipping a life size golden statue of Barack Obama.  Now I have to say that both approaches bore the proverbial pants off me. They are equally dogmatic as they are dull. They are uninformed as they are unimaginative. There is another way!

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent quote! The same people alternately bore and annoy me. There are some great discussions between those two extremes that deserve more attention.

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  2. […] faithful study of the gospels. I’m not going to extract from it, though my hat tip goes to Darrell Pursiful who extracted an excellent […]

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