The Triumph of the Gospel of John in American Evangelicalism


A Christian seminarian (at a Southern Baptist seminary--a conservative inerrantist institution), named Chris Petersen, has composed an article titled, "The Triumph of the Gospel of John in American Evangelicalism," that includes some questions I too struggled with before I left the fold.

The questions this student raises are not new. They arise whenever students and scholars of the Bible compare the three synoptic Gospels with the Gospel of John. For instance, professor James D. G. Dunn in his most recent monumental theological works on Jesus has acknowledged that the historical Jesus most probably didn't speak a word of what the Gospel of John portrays Jesus as having said.

Chris also has a five-part series on the discrepancy between the day of the week in which Jesus died according to the three Synoptic Gospels, compared with the day mentioned in the Gospel of John, titled, "The Date of Passover and the Pitfall of Inerrancy."

(Perhaps J. P. Holding and Dave Armstrong might consider reading Chris's pieces and offer to explain to the bright young lad why his questions, like Dr. Dunn's, aren't worth focusing any serious attention on.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Uh, well--Duh-h!

Anyone who is biblically literate knows this.

And, unfortunately, this would disqualify most "Christians."

RubySera Martin said...

>Edward T. Babinski said

why his questions, like Dr. Dunn's, aren't worth focusing any serious attention on.<

I think this highlight the difference between our way of thinking and their way of thinking. I don't think we will make any real progess so long as we try to go at it from the objective rational perspective. I believe we have to get into their minds, figure out how they think, and then look for a possible point of entry. I think we have to do this with a clear notion of the suspicion they have of anything and everything we can possible say. Like any other human group, they will tolerate stuff from their own that they won't accept from outsiders. We'll have to accept it; we're outsiders.

Here's something I found on Evangelical Atheist that I consider worth considering:

http://evangelicalatheist.com/2006/01/10/behind-enemy-lines/

Bruce Says:
January 10th, 2006 at 1:42 pm

I agree with you I AM, the cure for religion starts with the individual (the first step to curing your addiction is to admit that you have a problem). Until that happens, no matter how solid the counter arguments, the believer will always fall back on their faith and since faith is an irrational position there is no way you can logically convince them otherwise. Now, if something happens which causes them to question their faith, then you might be able to stick your foot in the door and open up their mind to more rational alternatives. But again, you can’t force this on them, they have to invite you in. END OF QUOTE

Robert O'Brien said...

For instance, professor James D. G. Dunn in his most recent monumental theological works on Jesus has acknowledged that the historical Jesus most probably didn't speak a word of what the Gospel of John portrays Jesus as having said.

I consider that a nonsensical assertion. If what Jesus was reported to have said in Koine does not translate well into Aramaic that is one thing, but to suggest that Jesus did not speak a word of John is not an assertion I take seriously.