Brevard Childs on the One Basic Fault of OT Theologies (according to James Barr)

James Barr (Concept of Biblical Theology, 49) recounts that in B. S. Childs’ essay “Old Testament in Germany 1920–1940”:

“Childs argues that the acceptance of the historical-critical method as a base is the one basic fault running through the entire series of modern Old Testament theologies before his own.”

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  1. I remember a fellow student and I laughing about the rehashing of enlightenment ideas in the historical critical genre. My friend cited an instance where a professor used words that were essentially the same if not identical with some written by Tom Paine in his effort to eviserate scripture. Now what is so original about something like that? And where is the idea of taking Scripture seriously, when your professor can’t even come up with anything original but must parrot junk written some 170 years previously by one evidently suffering from a good deal of enmity to the Bible. Like Voltaire. Other enlightenment scholars (?) provided the materials that were baptized, so to speak, by German scholars (supposedly of great piety) in the 1800s and 1900s. Since when do enemies get to set the agenda in methodology for looking at the Book that is noted for its depth and lasting effect in contributing to mankind? The New Atheists are really wanting in originality as they rehash junk that even an ordinary pastor wrestles with in his preparation for ministry. As a former Atheist, I find myself amused with tedious boredom of our present generation of skeptics. And the fact that a whole approach to Scripture waas adopted wholesale by biblical scholars and they thought it actually contributed to a reverent study of God’s written word is mind-boggling.

  2. I should add, “Especially in the light of examples and instances like Bart Ehrman giving up the Christian Faith over the issue of suffering and his litany of works utilizing the historical critical approach to demolish (as he thinks) the biblical case for its message from God.” I have known of a number of individuals who gave up on the Christian Faith due to that approach…along with whole denominations….

  3. ”Aime la vérité, mais pardonne à l’erreur.” Love the truth and pardon the error! These are words from Voltaire. I enjoyed your gentlemen’s discussion on the old and, it seems, eternal(at least until God brings everything to an end) these attacks on God’s truth. Although Voltaire was irreverent in many ways, but the truth is, that he was so, due mostly to the fact that, at that time, religion(as dominated blindly) the ruling popes, was corrupt and sick. Thank God, that people like Martin Luther and John Calvin and others, fought that vigourously and valiantly. They would probably have agreed with Voltaire on that aspect and likewise have said: ecrassez l´infâme!

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