Friday, April 2, 2010

Bob Cargill on 'Heresy' and Biblical Criticism

Bob's thought for the day is worth repeating in part:
it is never heretical to point out the inconsistencies of the biblical text to students. ever! if the one’s faith can’t survive a few critical questions, it’s either deeply flawed or it is not worth maintaining. shielding students from textual problems does not help their faith, it only sets them up for a greater fall.
and reading in full. I agree with Bob completely. If we shield students (and believers in general) from the hard questions and interpretive problems that close study of the Bible brings to light, then we're potentially setting them up for a bigger fall and hurting our own credibility if they discover some of those difficulties on their own. I, for one, was very disappointed when I found a few professors had misrepresented critical bible scholarship in an attempt to insulate us from facing those types of questions.


  1. That's a really great quote. I couldn't agree more. I'm extremely glad that I had a professor in undergrad who had this sort of attitude. It saved me a lot of frustration that I no doubt would have encountered later.

  2. I've personally not had much contact with very (very) conservative Biblical scholarship, though I consider myself an Evangelical and would like my work to benefit that pole of the spectrum. As a result, I often try and see such scholarship in the best light, giving it the most generous interpretation. However, a recent discussion with real life conservative (fundamentalist) got me utterly fuming. I was genuinely angry and shocked at what I can only consider to be wilful ignorance (not to mention his hypocrisy in attacking others for not doing their research!). He teaches part time at an institution I now wish not to be associated (it's near where I live), and I struggle to consider what he teaches not to be deception. Those are strong words, especially from me, but that was my experience. I've cooled a lot now on my protective stance.

    I should point out that he was otherwise a friendly and helpful person.