A Plea and a Warning for Evangelicalism

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josh p's picture

His article "The Importance of Christian Scholarship" is great here. We do need more pastor/scholars. Nevertheless, this is a "tale as old as time". You can't be considered a legitimate scholar unless you buy into the most recent critical shibboleth. I admit that I don't often look to pastors to answer the really tough theological questions but guys like Piper are more than capable (although I don't always hold his views). 

JohnBrian's picture

MacArthur, Sproul, and Piper I know, but who are these people:

Wright, more McKnight (and now Barringer!), more Richter, more McCaulley, more Bates, more Edwards (Dennis, not Jonathan), more Warren (Tish, not Rick), and more Bird

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Mark_Smith's picture

So young earth creationism is unbiblical? Since when? Do I wish young earthers paid more attention to science? Yes! In particular, there is no reason to run from the Big Bang. It is an observation, not a "theory". But there is no reason to reject YEC. Accepting OEC adds all kinds of theological problems. 

Unless you have female pastors you're "30 years behind"? Count me out then.

You can't be Calvinist in soteriology without Creeds? Says you not me.

And Social "Justice" du Jour Uber Alles...

Once again... count me out Herr Professor.


TylerR's picture


josh p wrote:

I admit that I don't often look to pastors to answer the really tough theological questions

Sniff, sniff ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

josh p's picture

TylerR wrote:

josh p wrote:

I admit that I don't often look to pastors to answer the really tough theological questions

Sniff, sniff ...

Correction: I ask my own pastor but I don't usually go looking for John MacArthur or some other pastor's answer. Probably more my uneasiness with Christian celebrity than anything. 

Andrew K's picture

New Perspectivism aside, I really can't see why people get so excited up about Wright myself. I've tried. I can't.

T Howard's picture

The reason Dr. Chris is a big fan of N.T. Wright is that Wright was his PhD supervisor.

Also, Dr. Chris, being a newly minted PhD, must assert and defend his reason for existence. We would all be a bunch of country bumpkins had it not been for serious NT scholarship, you know, like all those German higher critics who were 30 years ahead of their time.

Jeff Howell's picture

and I like it that way ... uh, to coin the phrase. ;-) 

Bert Perry's picture

....if more academics, instead of throwing bombs like this, would either point out some specific examples of how they feel that Piper and MacArthur are not scholarly, or simply say "I disagree with his approach."  

And really, he tips his hand about what he feels is important as he notes that he feels that young earth creationism and women in ministry are two key areas where Piper and MacArthur discredit themselves.  Now I will concede, as a young earth creationist myself, that there are any number of scientific points of reference where the young earth hypothesis has difficulty--radioisotopes, measurements of the universe, etc..--but at the same time, the majority hypothesis  of old earth and evolution has significant counter-evidence from (!) radioisotopes and the general lack of evidence for speciation and formation of complex structures.

So to argue that being young earth means that one is not academically sound merely means that one has adopted one side of the argument.  His argument is even more that way when you bring women in ministry into the picture, where the arguments for women in ministry more or less rest on the notion that the use of common words like "servant" and "apostle" necessarily indicate church office.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture


Where do you start with this guy?  Right off 100's if not thousands of years of church philosophy?  Discredit theology because it does not line up with academia?  The list goes on.

Steve Davis's picture

I find his hubris unseemly since his published works (a book from his dissertation) and a few journal articles at this time hardly qualify him as a scholar. With his 2018 PhD he might on the path to becoming a scholar but he can't hold a candle to the people he deprecates. Plus it's not a sign of scholarship to write that "most Bible scholars and Theologians" give up. Has he done some polls on this? No, it's more likely from his little insulated circle. Give him a few years. He might look back on this as an embarrassing rookie mistake, and may even become a scholar. 

Darm's picture

Perhaps of no consequence, but the young professor did undergrad at Lee University.  Lee is the denominational college of the Church of God (Cleveland, TN).  That certainly would account for his obvious acceptance of egalitarianism.  Probably, however, most COG members/members would accept the YEC position.

Darm's picture

In my previous post I put "members/members".  I mean to put "members/ministers".

Larry's picture


Whatever else we might say, MacArthur, Sproul, and Piper were primarily pastors so of course their contributions are going to be different than academic theologians.