Does Biblical Scholarship Destroy Faith

This month in the immediate aftermath of school graduations, I thought that I would put on my professorial hat and be more professor than pastor this month. One of the great debates during my seminary years was whether the pursuit of Biblical Scholarship would damage the Biblical faith of the student.

Afterall, law students go to law school in order to practice law, medical students go to medical school in order to practice medicine so it stands to reason that theology students would go to theological schools in order to practice theology. However, any student who has sat in the class room to discuss Form Criticism, Redaction Criticism, Source Criticism, Deontology, Ontology and Church History comes away with the question of whether what they have learned has enhanced or taken away from their faith. The question becomes “how do you return to parish ministry and not be able to use the majority of what you learned in order to pursue parish ministry.

Listed below is an interview that was conducted by Dr. Bart Ehrmann, Religious Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he tackles the question that is raised in this article. I present it as my editorial for this month not in an effort to persuade you the reader in one direction or the other, but to give you access to some degree of thinking that you may not have previously considered.

I will both confess and warn that Dr. Ehrmann is not a practicing Christian and labels himself as currently as “atheist” and so that should be strongly considered when watching his interview.

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