Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Scholars and Non-Scholarship

I had a post all but finished last night to contribute to yesterday's topic of the day - the conservative/liberal divide over who's a scholar or not - when suddenly and without warning the power went out thanks to the heavy snow and broken tree branches getting the better of the power transformer out back. Unfortunately, I'd neglected to save the draft with Windows Live Writer, so it was all gone.

Rather than attempt to reproduce my now-lost-but-undeniably-brilliant post, I'd like to simply say that I agree completely with Ken's assessment of the reactionary counter-scholarship often produced as conservative responses to advances in biblical studies. Ironically, the two most recent "response" books that jump to mind are responses by evangelicals against the work of other evangelicals. (An irony Doug Chaplin also pointed out and for that observation I've upgraded him to my "Favorites" folder.) Unfortunately, I would categorize the responses as non-scholarship (following Doug Chaplin there as well) compared to the careful scholarship of the works they were reacting against. I found Piper's response to N.T. Wright disappointing (much to my chagrin since I admire Piper's devotional and pastoral work), and I was left under-whelmed by what I've heard of Beale's response to Enns.

True scholarship is open to going where the evidence leads, not coming up with explanations for why the evidence doesn't really lead to where it appears to be going.

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