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Re: [GTh] On the Web: An Interview with Simon Gathercole

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  • Michael Grondin
    It appears that my initial impression of Simon Gathercole s evangelical ties was correct. He s listed as a contributor to the blog Evangelical Textual
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 3, 2010
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      It appears that my initial impression of Simon Gathercole's
      evangelical ties was correct. He's listed as a contributor to
      the blog "Evangelical Textual Criticism", run by Peter Head
      and Tommy Wasserman, the members of which are expected
      to present a statement of theological purity (my words, but
      check their accuracy for yourselves):
       
       
      This is not to diminish Gathercole's work in any way. Perhaps
      this will change my attitude toward evangelical scholarship,
      which up to now hasn't been favorable. (Among other things,
      I'm not keen on scholars trumpeting their religious beliefs,
      which Evangelicals seem prone to do - nor on scholars who
      seem to regard their work as part of a Christian "mission".
      Gathercole doesn't seem to do that - though he does oddly
      mention sin at one point in the interview:
       
      "People are all too willing to believe that the church has concealed
      the truth. It’s partly a cultural thing and partly is fed by the fact that the
      church sometimes does cover things up, but it’s also a result of sin:
      people don’t want to believe the truth and so cast around for other
      explanations instead."
       
      Hopefully, Simon was smiling when he said that.
       
      Mike Grondin
      Mt. Clemens, MI
    • Stephen Carlson
      ... It should be kept in mind that British evangelicals tend to be more scholarly than their American counterparts. (For one, I think their language skills
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 3, 2010
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        On Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 3:43 AM, Michael Grondin <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
        > It appears that my initial impression of Simon Gathercole's
        > evangelical ties was correct.
        >
        > This is not to diminish Gathercole's work in any way. Perhaps
        > this will change my attitude toward evangelical scholarship,
        > which up to now hasn't been favorable.

        It should be kept in mind that British evangelicals tend to be more
        scholarly than their American counterparts. (For one, I think their
        language skills are often better--both modern and ancient.) Well,
        at least that's my general impression, but I do try to take each
        scholar's work on an individual basis.

        Stephen Carlson
      • Michael Grondin
        ... Quite right, Stephen. And thanks for the distinction, which hadn t occurred to me (and which I m happy to accept, being of some British blood myself :-).
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 3, 2010
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          > It should be kept in mind that British evangelicals tend to be more
          > scholarly than their American counterparts. (For one, I think their
          > language skills are often better--both modern and ancient.) Well,
          > at least that's my general impression, but I do try to take each
          > scholar's work on an individual basis.

          Quite right, Stephen. And thanks for the distinction, which hadn't
          occurred to me (and which I'm happy to accept, being of some
          British blood myself :-). Gathercole's academic credentials are
          of course impeccable. None of that Ozarks Divinity School that
          we find in the States.

          Come to think of it, perhaps the Evangelical Textual Criticism
          blog is Brit-heavy? 'Peter Head' sounds like it. My grandfather's
          name was 'House'. Gotta love those imaginative British names!

          Cordial regards,
          Mike
        • Doug Milford
          I m not sure where you get the Ozarks Divinity School idea concerning evangelicals Mike. In fact, I suspect you will find many NT faculty in flagship
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 3, 2010
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            I'm not sure where you get the "Ozarks Divinity School" idea
            concerning evangelicals Mike.

            In fact, I suspect you will find many NT faculty in flagship
            evangelical institutions, such as Wheaton, Fuller, and Trinity, to be
            Brit heavy -- especially if you factor in where they were educated.

            Mark Noll has attempted to quantify this in his book, _Between Faith
            and Criticism: Evangelicals, Scholarship, and the Bible in America_:

            http://books.google.com/books?id=m7cVN-1Kc6QC&dq=noll+faith+criticism&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=BU5YTKraI4KB8gbBw6CHCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

            I agree that sticking to "each scholar's work" is the way to go. In my
            estimation this is not the place for evangelical bias or
            condescension.

            Doug Milford
          • Michael Grondin
            Thanks for your note, Doug. I was also chastened offlist by a respected scholar of my acqaintance. I should tell you that at heart I m an ardent individualist,
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 3, 2010
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              Thanks for your note, Doug. I was also chastened offlist by a respected
              scholar of my acqaintance. I should tell you that at heart I'm an ardent
              individualist, but in the present case, I've apparently come to associate
              evangelicals with fundamentalism. Wondering to myself now why that is,
              I see that part of it is the original statement of Evangelical principles, which
              asserts inerrantism - a view which I regard as both wrong-headed and
              inimical to sound biblical scholarship (hence its relevance here). But, as
              I am now learning, there may be as many Evangelicals who don't follow
              that statement of principles to the letter as there are Catholics (at least in
              this country) who don't follow Papal pronouncements to the letter. In any
              case, I much appreciate the corrective feedback I've been receiving.
               
              Mike
            • Doug Milford
              Thanks for your reply Mike. You would not be the first to equate evangelicalism with fundamentalism, nor will you be the last. One grew out of the other and
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 3, 2010
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                Thanks for your reply Mike. You would not be the first to equate evangelicalism with fundamentalism, nor will you be the last. One grew out of the other and there remains overlap, but there are vast and important differences between the type of scholars and scholarship you will find at a Fuller vs, say, Bob Jones or a Wheaton vs most bible institutes. Noll, who I invoked in my earlier message, is now at Notre Dame -- but while he was at Wheaton he wrote another book, _The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind_, in which he took dispensational theology to task.

                I think of David Scholer, who passed away a couple years ago. He was at Fuller for many years and a top rate scholar. He is just one example, but there are many others.

                Anyway, I appreciate your reply.

                Doug

                P.S. There is considerable debate within evangelicalism over what "inerrant" actually means.
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