A recent guest post over at the Patheos blog author by Dr. David Lincicum, will likely be of interest to Naked Bible readers: Lament for a Maternal Home (or, Is There No Place for Believing Criticism in Evangelicalism?). I appreciated the essay. Though I don’t know Dr. Lincicum’s work or any of his positions on issues of NT interpretation, I’ve lived several of the experiences he relates in his lament. It truly is discouraging to strive to make sure one’s positions are text-driven only to have the very audience you’re trying to serve look upon you with suspicion if what you say doesn’t align with some home-spun doctrinal position or a well-meaning, but badly under-informed, sermon.
Those concerned with theological and interpretive honesty are compelled by certain commitments: honoring God’s use of real people on the ground, at their own time and place, to produce this thing we say is inspired; interpreting the Bible in its own intellectual context; and taking the primary text as it is, preferring it over translations, acknowledging that the content at times points to editorial activity and arrangement and literary intent. It’s hard to believe this has no place in many churches that profess to take the Bible seriously. For those who feel called by God to devote their lives and gifts to the academic study of Scripture, pariah status was unexpected. I never thought I’d have to pay a price for sticking to the text, but I have. But I’m used to it now, and am unrepentant.
I’d be interested in your thoughts on the essay.