Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When I Get the Chance . . .

When I get the chance, these are some of the subjects I would like to address in some upcoming posts:

1. The similarity and uniqueness of Israelite aniconism in its ancient Near Eastern context.
2. Discuss the only orthodox Christian route one who denies the historical Adam can take if he wants to remain orthodox, as well as discussing why any other path he might take assumes systems that have been historically condemned as heretical for good reason.
3. Discuss why most books slamming inerrancy aren't from positions of errancy, but from alternate positions of inerrancy that largely undermine the authority of the Bible. I maintain that there is only one form of true errancy, and it is rarely held by any books written by self-professed believers. In essence, Thom Stark has a section in his book as to why inerrantists don't actually exist, but I would counter by saying that there are very few errantists that exist within the Christian context, and that most are advocating a species of canonical inerrancy, including Thom.
4. To trace monergistic and synergistic ideas within church history before the Reformation in an effort to show that semi-Pelagianism and gnostic assumptions stayed within the church largely untouched during the medieval period, but were finally exposed during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation (i.e., the true official beginning of the Roman Catholic Church).
5. To discuss the purpose of primeval history in the ancient Near East and the Bible in order to display the theological purposes of creation accounts and historical reporting of that period.
6. To blog the book of Genesis that I'm writing.
7. To discuss why placing the Bible on a pedestal and considering it divine is not what is traditionally understood as "bibliolatry," but is in fact the divinely sanctioned form of "idolatry" in the Bible to which everyone who claims to worship God must bow (i.e., that only visual idols are condemned, not the spoken Word that functions in place of an idol).
8. To do a series on the biblical texts used in the seven ecumenical councils of the Early Church.
9. To look at the Council of Orange and whether it supports or condemns what has become modern Roman Catholicism.
10. To look at divine determinationism within Samuel-Kings.

I have some other ideas I'd like to pursue as well, but if you have anything you might want me to pursue, feel free to make a request.


  1. I'd be interested to know what you thought of Thom Stark's book. When I was starting to read more historical criticism his articles were quite rattling to my faith. Then I went back to his sources (Mark Smith, Schweitzer, etc.) and found that their hypotheses weren't necessarily damaging to inerrancy. So ironically, I can actually agree that many of his reconstructions are possible or probable, while still believing that all of the Bible is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

  2. Much of my inerrancy book addresses things that are said by Thom in his. I think the problems with his book are legion, and I'm really disappointed in certain scholars, who clearly have some agenda, for promoting it with little serious critique of his flawed argument. I don't have time to go into everything here, but the main argument Thom makes concerning the Bible's errancy is in seeing certain texts as teaching polytheism and child sacrifice; but you can only get that from a diachronic methodolgy, not a synchronic one, and the synchronic is the only one that matters in the end, since it's the contextual one. Scholars would slap any book down as amateurish if it did this with word studies, but suddenly do it with entire texts and its a.o.k. I don't blame Thom, who was not taught a proper methodology, but scholarship as a whole that has still failed to apply linguistic principles to the examination of larger texts.

    And yes, I agree with you. Thom's book is a bit sensationalistic. The actual scholarship he parrots quite well (and Thom does understand the basic scholarship to which he refers very well) does not actually have to be turned in the direction he does. In fact, I don't think it logically follows at all. But there are a lot of problems with the book because there are a lot of problems in many scholars' methodologies right now. I hope to address a lot of this in my book.

    1. Sounds good! Any idea when the book will be out?

    2. I want to try to get it out by next Spring. The problem is that my computer crashed and I lost everything I had written (I had about four different books that were nearing completion). So I need to rewrite them now from scratch. I guess it will give me some time to think through everything again.

  3. How annoying. I'll be sure to review it on my blog when it materializes: sounds like exactly the approach I've been looking for.