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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 14, 2008 9:30:47 PM PST
There is an old saying that goes like this: seek and you shall find. The flip side is also true, if you don't seek (or like Ehrman, if you have blinders on before you even try to seek), you really wont ever find the answers you are looking for. I was able to preview this book after it came to the bookstore that I work at and I am very sadden by this book, not only because it does not give a Godly answer to what is being sought, but because it seems to me that Ehrman has given up on God and just hopes, blandly and dourly, that man can bring man his own peace and preservation. Like many humanists who were once Christian but had left Christianity because their egotistical pride and wounded pride built a wall all around him, Ehrman comes to the Bible with his own bitterness blinding him from realizing the many revelations that are found in Scripture. Like many bitter and blinded people, Ehrman refuses to allow God to answer his questions, thinking that, instead, maybe, hopefully, we can create our own answers through social programs or whatnot. For indeed I challenge not only him but those like him, those who are drowning in the hopelessness of living an enslaved life to disappointments and regrets and tragedies, that God indeed does have the answer to the problem of suffering, but you wont gain the revelation if you go into Scripture with atheistic narrow-mindedness, for you then provide your own bitter answer to your own bitter questions.

We come to Scripture through the recognition that all of Scripture is a culmination of God's revelation, from the creation to the culmination of human history. Even more directly, we as Christians recognize that those questions that are indeed left hanging in the Old Testament find fruition by the lens of Jesus Christ. Let's take for example the Book of Job. Whether this is a real event or just one of the wisdom books we are able to understand the questions that are bound in Job by what God reveals to us through the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior. Life is not easy. Life is painful. We go through all times of struggle, just like, on the other hand, we have times of joy. For indeed as Scripture points out, the rain comes down on both the innocent and the guilty. Yet Job teaches us that above all this, God is indeed on the throne, that God is good even when life gives us sorrow, and that God is whom we are to allow to be our anchor in the storms that life hits us with. Still there are lingering questions, such as well, with that revelation of God, where is the bridge between God and me during our disappointments and tragedies. We have the answer in Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ shows us that He (as He is God's Son, that is, He is God) knows our broken hearts, knows our wounds, and that as long as we keep our sights upon Him, as long as we prayerfully and faithfully hold onto Him, the storm will dissipate.

Let me give an example from some of my seminary family. At the seminary I go to there is a couple that recently lost their three-month-old child to a virus. Much like Darwin, mind you, who also lost his daughter to a disease, this couple had the very real option placed before them: they can keep their sights upon God in Christ and weather the storm or they can give up, give into bitterness and regret. This couple, despite the hardship of the situation, despite the fact that there will always be a wounded spot on their hearts for the rest of their lives, realized that we are to praise God in the rain just as we are to praise God in the sunshine. That God is our foundation through Jesus Christ, that we don't have to give into hopelessness like Ehrman has chosen to give into, that we can instead rejoice that God loves us and helps us if we recognize we have the choice to allow Him to help us. We are to recognize that when we rely upon Christ, though there will be struggles in life, He Himself has overcome the world, and that when we keep our sights upon Him (even during the worst of storms), we know that there is foundation under our feet. Ehrman has sadly rejected that foundation, rejected that hope, that very real foundation and that very real hope, and instead seems to blindly hope that man can save man someway, some how. Thus, in the end, I do not as a Christian necessarily despise Ehrman, instead I truly feel sorrow that he has chosen blindness.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2008 1:12:38 AM PST
Of course, others might argue it is you who are blind. You recite your theological ideology as if you and you alone are possessed of the truth, ignoring the history of sin and crime committed by some Christians in the name of their deity. A history which demonstrates that this ideology is not an infallible guide to moral conduct.

I prefer to heed the words of the Prophet Micah, and realize that there are only three things required of us: to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our god (whatever god that may be).

The last requirement involves a quality long praised but seldom practiced: humility. I do not know the answers to all of life's questions (42, maybe?). But I will not proffer my ignorance as received wisdom.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 7:05:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 18, 2008 7:08:24 AM PST
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament, brought together, shows us that we cannot save ourselves. The Prophet Micah speaks about Yahweh, the God of the Old and New Testament, the God of the Promise of Salvation throughout the Old Testament who is the same God of the Revealing Salvation of the New Testament. First and foremost we must realize that the two Testaments are bound together through the Spirit of God, the one true God, whom is the I Am of the Old Testament just as He is the (as we witness through the visible and physical and spirit-filled) Son of God who points toward the Father (in terms of the Trinity) as seen in the New Testament. This is not some pluralistic manifestation that says "it is all the same" (because if you study truly study the OT you realize that all the other "gods" were false gods in comparison to the true God Yahweh), this is God Himself the Creator the Savior and the source of Justice and Grace. Micah points clearly, then, that there is judgment toward those that worships the false gods.

We all fall short of God's glory and holiness because we are all sinners to our very core. This is not just stuffy armchair theology, this is basic eye opening realization of human and human nature. Human history shows time and time again that we cannot create for ourselves our own utopian. We can help others, but on our own, we still cannot produce the great epiphany that is spoken about but never seen. Yes there are crimes in the past committed by those who call themselves Christians. I could call myself a particle physicist but that doesn't mean that, placed in front of a particle accelerator, I would know what to do. Though I am a Christian I am still imperfect this side of eternity. I stumble and I fall. I would be the first one to admit to that. Still I realize that, through my stumbles, through the days in the valley, through the tears, all that are a part of this life that I live, I keep my eyes on the goal, I keep my eyes upon Christ Jesus, because through Him, through Him alone, am I saved before God's holiness and God's grace.

I did not come to this belief through merely being a Christian all my life. I have not always been a Christian. For more than fifteen years, from around Middle School (when I left the church my parents went to) through gaining my Masters Degree in Educational Theory, I searched and I searched for meaning and for peace. I read everything from atheism to Wicca. Seeking and try but never an epiphany, not even one. The more I learned through the various works I read, the less I realized there was hope to this world, this life, this place that I stand as I grow older day after day. It was only when there was nothing left to go to in search of peace and meaning that I came to God through Jesus Christ through Scripture and prayer. In the darkness a great light was shining, toward my mind, for indeed you cannot be a true Christian without using the mind, using reason and logic and wisdom, toward my heart and toward my soul. When I came to realize there is the one true God through Jesus Christ, I found true life, justice, grace, and hope in Him.

I for one, in the end, do not think that I have all the answers in the world. Even I as a Christian I suffer through the pains that are around me in this world. I do not sit on some higher ground built by myself and for myself. Because this world is marred by sin, stained by evil, all brought about by our own choices (for indeed, even if we sin in the spirit that still causes the cancer of evil to spread across this world), we will never find for ourselves a utopia. We must rely upon God through Jesus Christ. We must recognize that the questions of pain, suffering, of confusion, of hopelessness, must be seen through not just the OT and the NT, but through the very truth of God through Jesus Christ who shine so clearly from the OT and the NT, giving these pages their worth that is more than the finest treasures in the universe. I will not allow myself to fall into that hubris; however, through the realization and the truth of God through Scripture, I realize that there is One who does know the answers, and that is ultimately revealed through God through Jesus Christ. In the end, through God through Jesus Christ, the answers are found and the epiphanies are worth more than gold.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 8:20:41 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2008 5:20:30 AM PST
"like Ehrman, if you have blinders on before you even try to seek."
Are you kidding me?? Ehrman became a fundamentalist evengelical as a teen, graduated from Moody Bible Institute (where "Bible" is our middle name), Wheaton College and Princeton Theological Seminary (where he studied under Bruce Metzger, as well as studied to be a minister). So thats two of the biggest evangelical schools in the country, and a very well respected seminary school.

He has spent the VAST majority of his life completely immersed in Christianity and Christian history, is considered one of the top New Testament historians in the country. He also changed his mind.

Yet, you sit here, writing reviews of books you havent even read (and giving them one star, because you dont like what they are about), and accuse Ehrman of blindness, not being open minded, and going into the scriptures with "atheist narrow mindedness." PUH-LEEZE!! He has more of a Christian background than 99.9% of the worlds Christians.

This type of knee jerk reaction that you fundamentalists have towards Ehrman suggests more fear of him than anything else. He knows more (and cares more) about your religion's history than you ever will, and he flat out doesnt believe it. That terrifies you.

Meanwhile, you make up these rediculous ad hoc excuses to try and reduce the cognitive dissonance that Ehrman creates for you. Disgusting.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2008 8:10:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2008 8:11:53 AM PST
tjabbott says:
to Etaoin Shrdlu: 42 is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. But of course finding the Ultimate Question is still necessary.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2008 11:10:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2008 11:16:10 AM PST
To Etaoin Shrdlu,

Thank you for your post. It is a rational voice of moderation in a polarized conversation. This thread of reviews with their attached comments does little to inspire me to believe that my fellow man maintains much in the way of objectivity or humility. Whether posted by believers or non-believers there is too much written here that smacks of tendentious polemic. A majority of non-believers characterize believers as intolerant village idiots. Many believers claiming access to higher authority merely condemn non-believers to hell. Neither camp shows any interest in a plausible middle ground of reasoned discussion regarding this book. For all such reviewers and responders, there is no middle ground. It seems that all there really is for them is a whole lot of self pride, rectitude, and a sense of omniscience. Again, Etaoin thank you for your comment.

David Blair
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Participants:  5
Total posts:  7
Initial post:  Feb 14, 2008
Latest post:  Feb 24, 2008

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