SansBlogue  
Monday, December 08, 2008
  East of West, and a Kitten not a Kerr
David's been taking lessons from Jim, his mega post The toppled ivory tower of Biblical studies and the rabble’s tower of babble that has risen in its place is full of Westian exaggeration and vituperation. "Rave on in the ruins of your ivory tower!" is about as gentle as it gets ;)
Dog and kitten by chadmiller
In the post he skewers the pretensions of the scholarly and calls for an engagement with the real world of Wikipedia and Study Bibles. The trouble is that the post nicely and neatly expands a false dichotomy. One must in Kerr's vision be either an ivory tower academic, or a Wikipedian Mega-pastor. West is little better, only the minimalist are blessed with all truth (however small that "all" may be) and anyone who lacks a fluent understanding of six ancient languages ought not dare discuss the Bible.

I am a kitten, not a Kerr. Without scholarship, where the careful and systematic study is lacking, all sorts of weird and wild ideas flourish (just look at the average American "Evangelical" website - or see the summaries offered by John Hobbins in The Poisoning of the Evangelical Mind: Antidotes or follow his links to the series of fundagelical posts by Michael Pahl). It may look as if we kittens are merely tangling balls of wool, but the tangling and untangling helps those who pay attention to avoid a worse tangling of the very ideas by which they live!
East - West by mollyali
I am east of West. For all his warmth, and erudition, Uncle Jim does exhibit a strangely un-Baptist elitism. If Zwingli stands with the proud, educated, rich and powerful, then I'll read my Bible in Babel with Thomas Muntzer and with that young cobbler the institution at which I teach is named after. As the Reformers pretty much all affirmed the Bible is "perspicuous" you do not need even a diploma, let alone a PhD toy understand what you need to know!

So - to David, I'll sound like Jim (scholarship is the governor which holds back our faith from the worst extremes of which it is capable) and to Jim, I'll sound like David (any biblical study which does not begin and end in the community of believers is vanity).

[Actually, I suspect that both my distant friends will agree with everything I've said above, except the bits that are rude about the other ;) But I do think it is really important, if dangerous and uncomfortable to stand firmly in the middle of this road!]
Photo by dlemieux

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