Archive for the ‘apologetics’ Category

The words “Defending Heresy” in the title of this blog are deliberately provocative. I am referring to a recent article published on the Society of Biblical Literature’s web site by Tony Burke entitled “Heresy Hunting in the New Millennium.”  Burke (whose full name, according to his web site, is Tony Chartrand-Burke) teaches biblical studies at York University in Toronto, Canada, and specializes in the study of the Christian (or New Testament) apocrypha. His doctoral dissertation was on the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.  This post is the first installment (Lord willing) of a thorough reply to Burke’s article.

Burke’s SBL article is a critique of the way various conservative Christian apologetic works handle the Christian apocrypha (hereafter CA). The main authors he criticizes are Darrell Bock,[1] Ben Witherington,[2] N. T. Wright,[3] J. Ed Komoszewski,[4] Philip Jenkins,[5] and Craig A. Evans.[6] According to Burke, these authors’ works “often misrepresent the texts, their authors, and the scholars who study them. Proper research and sober argument take a back seat to the apologists’ goal of buttressing the faith.” Like the ancient orthodox apologists such as Irenaeus and Hippolytus, they sacrifice accuracy “to the needs of apologetics” and hurl demonizing invective against modern advocates of the CA. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the top five objections to the evangelical Christian faith that we hear all the time is posed in the form of a question: What about those who have never heard the gospel? What about the unevangelized? Will all such people automatically go to Hell? Isn’t that unfair? (Okay, that’s four questions, even if they do overlap.)

Well, Michael Patton and I are going to be talking about this question live on Connection Gate, a web-based classroom program created by the folks at Reclaiming the Mind Ministries. You can join us at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time tonight, October 2, 2008. We’ll look at some of the competing theories within Christianity on this subject and look at what the Bible says about it. You can find out how to access this cyberspace classroom here. I hope to see you tonight!

–Rob Bowman