Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A chuckle from William Lane Craig

Some of you know William Lane Craig as the evangelical Christian theologian from Biola University who often speaks favorably of “intelligent design” creationism. It happens that I just read one of his criticisms of the Jesus Seminar, a large group that gauged the historicity of the sayings and acts of Jesus reported in the four canonical gospels and the Gospel of Thomas:
Of the 74 [scholars] listed in their publication The Five Gospels, only 14 would be leading figures in the field of New Testament studies. More than half are basically unknowns, who have published only two or three articles. Eighteen of the fellows have published nothing at all in New Testament studies. Most have relatively undistinguished academic positions, for example, teaching at a community college.
Prof. Craig, you really should spend some time with Confucius. Not one leading figure in the field of biology has ever contributed to the “theory” of intelligent design.

Whatever the Jesus Seminar got wrong, something it got right was to place the burden of proof on those who would claim historicity of a gospel passage. Obviously, most scholars delving into the matter are Christians seeking to demonstrate the truth of what they believe. Sound familiar? This is not to suggest that traditional New Testament scholars are no better than ID creationists. The New Testament scholars truly know the subject matter, while ID creationists demonstrate time and again their execrable ignorance of the relevant science.

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