Monday, February 19, 2007

Craig Evans and the "All or Nothing" Approach to Scripture

I am looking forward to reading the new book by Craig Evans, Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospel.

Craig Blomberg has a review here.

Especially interesting to me will be Evans's critique of the "all or nothing" hermeneutical approach that is often espoused by ex-fundamentalist Christians who "leave the faith" because of their inability to defend the Bible on the basis of the all or nothing approach. Which is sad.

Blomberg writes: "Evans highlights one recurrent problem—the all-or-nothing approach that leads some people to think that, if they cannot accept strict biblical inerrancy or harmonize every last detail in the Gospels, they must reject most or all of them (a mistake, I might add, sadly perpetuated by many very conservative evangelicals, too, who thus unwittingly send more hesitant skeptics over the edge)."

The all-or-nothing, modern fundamentalist approach engenders anti-Christianity in those who can no longer do the logical gymnastics needed to operate in this narrow, anachronistic approach to Scripture. These "ex-Christians" have only changed nominally. Paradigmatically they are the same persons, now becoming all-or-nothing skeptics and atheists who attack the all-or-nothing fundamentalists and evangelicals.