This letter is arguably the most important document of the Christian faith; it stands behind virtually all great movements of God in the last years.
The review was quite positive, and as is typical on blogsites, there were a lot of comments to follow. One comment took a detour from discussion about the book and challenged what he thought were my bibliological views.
From this, a snowball effect occurred. Essentially, snippets from some of my published and posted essays were used to put me on trial.
What started the whole heresy trial perhaps that is too strong a word, but the tenor of much of the discussion certainly seemed to go in that directionhowever, were some acontextual quotations from a lecture I gave at the Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Danvers, MA seven years ago—a paper that was not intended for a general audience.
I have refrained from posting that paper online because of the pre-understanding of several issues needed to grasp the full argument.
In other words, my pastoral concerns have kept me from posting an essay for general consumption that requires a bit of theological training to comprehend. Back to the blogsite. Remarkably, not one person interacting with this minimal material contacted me directly for clarification, in spite of the pleas of Ed Komoszewski, who asked that people read a little bit more of what I have written before passing judgment.
Ed also asked them more than once to write to me if they had problems with my views. Judgment was passed even though Ed mentioned that some of the quotations were taken out of context and others were not quoted accurately.
Such is the age of the Internet: I am consequently taking the opportunity to post a response to my critics and inquirers here. After all, King James Only advocates have condemned me to hell more times than I can count! But when people with whom I have a much greater theological kinship do the same, I feel as though they are taking a step backwards on their evangelical commitment.
After all, one of the things that makes an evangelical different from a fundamentalist is that an evangelical is supposed to be willing to wrestle with the evidence. One of the hallmark differences between a fundamentalist and an evangelical is willingness to dialog over the issues.
A fundamentalist condemns; an evangelical thinks. Christology and Bibliology Before I discuss the particular accusations against me regarding inerrancy, I would like to preface my remarks with notes about my methodological approach to this issue. This preface is actually the heart of this paper because it is where the confusion has come.
The center of all theology, of the entirety of the Christian faith, is Christ himself. The cross is the center of time: If Christ were not God in the flesh, he would not have been raised from the dead.
And if he were not raised from the dead, none of us would have any hope. My theology grows out from Christ, is based on Christ, and focuses on Christ. Years ago, I would have naively believed that all Christians could give their hearty amens to the previous paragraph. Sadly, this is not the case.Frequently Asked Questions.
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1 E. F. Harrison, Romans in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 2 Harrison, Romans, rutadeltambor.comgh we would disagree with some of Harrison’s dates by as much as one year (probably late 55 or early 56 is the date for Romans), one simply cannot be more precise and dogmatic in this chronology.