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Why Bart Ehrman Is Good for the Church

Greg Monette nails it, I think. Even though my own faith had to confront the sorts of issues Ehrman raises before Ehrman really came on the scene, I can identify with a lot of what Greg says. He concludes his piece thusly:

Bart Ehrman is showing evangelicals where their weaknesses actually are. We should thank him for this rather than berate him. Yes, he pushes the envelope. He’s a writer of popular trade books. Of course he’s going to do that. However, though he may be wrong on many of his startling claims, he is thinking of all the possible weaknesses that may exist in the ‘fundamentalist‘ armour. And if these really are weaknesses, than they deserve to be exposed and dealt with.

My faith in Jesus has increased because of Bart Ehrman. I understand that many people have lost their faith in Jesus of Nazareth because of Ehrman’s writings, but that’s not what happened to me. I know what I believe about the Bible and the Historical Jesus because I took the time to engage with Ehrman’s writings. I’m convinced that the Bible is quite reliable (not necessarily perfect) and that Jesus was raised from the dead. Bart helped me on this journey because his textbook was the first one I studied in university and reading it kickstarted my quest for historical knowledge. Personally, I owe Bart Ehrman a lot. Without his introduction to the New Testament textbook I may not be the Christian I am today. The challenges he put forward in his textbook drove me to look into the historical veracity of the Jesus movement in the first place.

The Church will be better off because of you, Bart. I certainly am!

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