Friday, March 20, 2009

Two very different books: hopeful blog preview

I just received my copy of Dale C. Allison, Jr.'s The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus (Eerdmans, 2009). Dale's book provides an honest, heartfelt assessment of how historical critical New Testament scholarship can or should relate to theology and the life of faith. I'm only halfway through this little book (126 pp.), but I've found it personally moving.

Dale's book led me to request a review copy of Bart D. Ehrman's new Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know about Them) (HarperOne, 2009). As I understand it, Bart's book reviews the results of historical critical research to suggest that it blows away what most church people know or believe about the Bible. That is, most people in churches ask, "Why have I never heard this before?" The book is for "people in the church and people on the street." In Bart's personal case, this sort of study led to abandoning Christian faith.

I don't know whether Harper will send the copy, but I'm eager to bring these very different books into conversation.


Sterling said...

If Bart Ehrman wants to reject Christianity as his personal faith I respect his decision, but why does he feel the need to try to convince people who have a strong personal faith in Christ that everything they trust is wrong? What does he have to gain from this except more book sales and a huge self satisfaction that he is smarter then all people of faith. Evidently his personal faith journey has taken him all the way from a strong evangelical faith to a total rejection of all that Christ taught us. I used to enjoy his books, but now I will not buy any of his books, or even check one out of a library. I'm also giving away all the ones I currently own. Actually, then I will have more room on my bookshelves for truly great works by authors like, Greg Carey, Bruce Epperly, and Kent Groff. I prefer to read books that challenge my larger theological understandings, but that don't ask me to give up my core faith in the process.

Bryan Owen said...

Hey Greg. I'll be interested to know what you make of Ehrman's latest book. Are you familiar with his earlier books? What do you make of his "agenda"? (Along those lines, I've just read an interesting review of Misquoting Jesus by Ben Witherington, who also cites a review of the book by Daniel Wallace.)

Bryan Owen said...

It appears that I did not get the URL right for the Ben Witherington review. Let's try it again here.

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