Kellen cogitates about the recent Ehrman media blitz. Ehrman is the NT scholar who went from Conservative Believer to Agnostic through his study of scripture. (He was on the Daily Show recently. I have him on the DVR but havn’t been able to see it yet…)
In the comments, Plax ends up where I end up, and summarizes nicely what I think is the core of the Reformed tradition:
The Bible is a compilation of books written by human beings. It speaks of God as he revealed himself in the person Jesus Christ, a Jew from Nazareth. Jesus is the revelation of which you and I speak. The Bible is the witness to the revelation.
We don’t worship a book. We worship God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Compare the PCUSA Confession of 1967, in the Book of Confessions (9.27, 9.29):
The one sufficient revelation of God is Jesus Christ, the Word of God incarnate, to whom the Holy Spirit bears unique and authoritative witness through the Holy Scriptures, which are received and obeyed as the word of God written. The Scriptures are not a witness among others, but the witness without parallel. …
The Bible is to be interpreted in the light of its witness to God’s work of reconcilation in Christ. The Scriptures, given under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are nevertheless the words of men, conditioned by the language, thought forms, and literary fashions of the places and times at which they were written. They reflect the views of life, history, and the cosmos which were then current. The church, therefore, has an obligation to approach the Scriptures with literary and historical understanding. As God has spoken his word in diverse cultural situations, the church is confident that he will continue to speak through the Scriptures in a changing world and in every form of human culture.
Ehrman is symptomatic of many who come from a rigid view of scripture and then, when digging down into it, come away with nothing but tatters. It doesn’t have to be that way….
…millinerd offers some interesting comments too.
…and be sure to read through Ben Witherington’s post “Misanalyzing Text Criticsm,” which is helpful, though just because someone has an ax to grind doesn’t for that reason make them wrong (but it is important to think about). (hat tip Kruse).