Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bart Ehrman

I have been reading another of Bart Ehrman's books, "The Lost Gospel of Judas" lately. I am very impressed with Ehrman as an historian. I have read nearly all of his books. The most interesting one to me was ""The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture". This book told about all the many varieties of theologies and what later became scripture during and after the second century and on. I was fascinated reading it. There certainly was no "orthodox" theology at that time and no set scripture. Everyone who copied what would later become scripture added or deleted theology that did not agree with theirs. Ehrman reads five ancient languages and compares the theology found in various ancient documents.

I would like to have had Ehrman at our scripture symposium last spring. Don wanted to ask Stephen Patterson though so we did. Frankly, I was disappointed in Patterson. He didn't talk about anything we didn't already know.

Ehrman, on the other hand, is a leading historian of the early church and would have brought a lot of new information.

I have also heard that Ehrman is a 'recovering fundamentalist' and has lost his faith in Christianity, which shows the dangers of fundamentalism in all philosophies and religions. Ehrman, like others, can't seem to understand that just because Christian history and thought is not set in stone that it doesn't mean everything has to fit just right. He seems to be unable to think 'outside the box' of fundamentalism.

I wonder if Ehrman is comfortable in his spiritual journey where he is now. I also wonder if it bothers him that what he has learned about Christian origins that shattered his faith is what keeps people like me 'in the Christian fold.'

I have his DVDs on "The Historical Jesus". I know his story since I have read most of his books.

It would be easy, given his specialty, to lose faith in the Christian churches. After all, they are all a part of the corruption of not only scripture but also the church itself. If you read Rita Nakashima's "Saving Paradise" you will see what I mean.


Linda said...

Margie, I always enjoy your posts like the one today. Often I can relate to the names you talk about from my years working in a seminary. I was not familar with Bart Ehrman however. I've read some about him today and have to say I totally relate to him. Many of us former evangelicals are the walking wounded. The war against fundamentalism was bloody. To this day, almost 30 years later, I weep at the mere mention of it. It was awful. Biblical inerrancy sends me right over the edge.

Linda said...

I'm currently reading (very slowly) a book by a former evangelical turned Catholic.

By What Authority:
An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition

by Mark P. Shea

A Catholic friend and I find ourselves talking past each other. As an evangelical I have no sense of sacred tradition. She can't imagine why. I'm reading this book hoping this ex-evangelical can tell me what he found in the Catholic church. I've known other evangelicals that turned Catholic.

I think Senator Brownback is one of those. I believe after he had cancer he converted to Catholicism but remains connected to evangelicalism through his family.

Personally, whatever I had is gone. I visited a nice United Church of Christ congregation after moving to Oregon but had to be honest and admit I felt nothing. Whatever I had for the church was killed in the bloody war.

Margie's Musings said...

That's terrible, Linda. I don't know what I would do without my church. It is much of my life. Our church Community of Christ tries to be a peace church and build the Kingdom of God on earth.

I will pray that you too find a church that feeds your spirit.