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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dateline Special: The Birth of Jesus

In case you missed it (some of you have better things to do on Friday night), Dateline presented an hour-long special on the birth of Jesus (Keith Morrison as correspondent). Here was the line-up of scholars: * John Dominic Crossan - Depaul University * Ben Witherington - Asbury Theological Seminary * Amy-Jill Levine - Vanderbilt Divinity School * Scott Hahn - Franciscan University * Craig Evans - Arcadia Divinity College * Lesley Hazelton - writer (can't really consider her a scholar, but they interviewed her nonetheless) To read the full text, click here. Also, I just noticed that James White (Alpha & Omega Ministries) live-blogged the broadcast. Interesting to see the comments of one who has debated and interacted with these folks (unfortunately, Dateline did not have a conservative evangelical representation in their presentation). Dateline reports that the majority of Americans believe in the virgin birth, contrary to most of these scholars. Furthermore, they present opposing views of scholars against what has been traditionally understood in the nativity scene. The bottom line was: Is the birth of Jesus historical or fiction? As expected, Crossan said that it was to be interpreted as "allegorical" and a "parable". He later says that Mary could have become pregnant by adultery or rape, but not by the Holy Spirit (makes sense I guess if you are not a supernaturalist). Levine argues that the question of the birth of Jesus is "a question of faith, not of history." Why, the birth of Jesus cannot be historical, lest all our presuppositions crumble?! Evans argues that the birth of Jesus is to be interpreted more as a "metaphor" and "poetry" and "full of exaggerations." Finally, Hazelton argues that the Gospels were "not written as history but theology." One has to wonder if the intent of this presentation is to combat the popular understanding of Jesus and historical reliability of the biblical texts with skepticism and deconstructionism. They want to infuse doubt in the minds of folks by presenting scholars who devote themselves to this study, only to find themselves denying the very faith they appear to represent. The irony behind it all, of course, is that most of these scholars is out-of-touch with most of society and striving against the Spirit of truth who not only impregnated Mary but inspired the Scriptures. Just goes to show you that it does not matter if you are the most intelligent scholar or the "man on the street"; what matters is if you have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in you to bear witness to the truth.


Blogger wisdomofthepages.com said...

This one really got my blood boiling. Not even b/c I am ignorant of the fact that there are liberal scholars out there. More so b/c yet once again... where is the Tom Schreiner/D.A. Carson on these programs? Evans and Witherington had something to say, but it is not what the best of conservative evangelical NT scholarship has to offer.

11/14/2005 12:58:00 AM


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