Re: [asa] RE: TE and apologetics

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Fri Sep 18 2009 - 12:54:13 EDT


The post I sent a few minutes ago, mentioning John Walley, should also have mentioned you. I meant to be responding to the type of concern you articulate here:

I do have a short response. Fosdick with his position as Ted describes
it, would seem to me to be a conundrum for many TEs on this list. He
would seem to be evidence that "what goes around is still coming around"
and that TEs who easily chide YECs for being afraid of any "slippery
slope" are themselves not at the bottom of it [yet?]. I.e. If most of
us a generation ago were more aligned with YEC convictions that we have
now emerged from, is there a continuing trajectory in this that has us
continuing to "emerge" to a point where, like Fosdick or now Borg and
Jesus seminar folks, we are able to let go of convictions regarding
bodily resurrection and able to "re-interpret" many central passages
from gospels like John in ways that at least some of us here still find
to be heterodox. Yes -- I know that some here have already gone down
that path and that folks like Marcus Borg are tremendously respected and
associated views accepted...


As I say, Merv, that other post (on Polkinghorne) was meant to address this very issue -- esp the review I linked in my post. I can understand how one could follow a sceptical path and have "no stopping place," to end up where Fosdick or Borg end up. However, I contend that one can just as well have various coherent, solid stopping points in between a YEC-style literalism and a Borg-style scepticism about the resurrection. Anyone worried about that, for their own faith journey, ought to read the heavy-duty but beautifully written final section on "Easter and History" from N.T. Wright's "The Resurrection of the Son of God." Of nothing else have I ever said this: had I written it myself, which I absolutely could not have (I almost entirely lack the specific knowledge needed), I would not have altered a single word. It's also the single most spiritually helpful academic book I've ever read. Go and do likewise, I urge everyone.

Now, as for the ASA as an organization, I am reflecting on the final part of the clipped quotation above. ASA members affirm both the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. The "modernists" like Fosdick couldn't do that, and many of them had the guts to say they couldn't rather than simply crossing their fingers and pretending to assent. IMO, an ASA member is affirming genuine belief in the bodily resurrection, among other central beliefs. Those "here" who may have some other belief are IMO either not ASA members (which is true for some here) or else are not really affirming what they've affirmed (always a possibility).

Ted (ASA president)

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Received on Fri Sep 18 12:55:10 2009

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