Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Faith does not require blind acquiescence

Observing that "In recent years, [he has] noticed that many of the twenty and thirty-somethings in my circle ask very pointed questions about the accuracy of the biblical text", Trevin Wax approvingly reviews a book by Nicholas Perrin, Lost In Transmission?: What We Can Know About the Words of Jesus. The history teacher in me loved these words:
Perrin sees our refusal to engage in the historical debate as a backhanded denial of the truths at the very heart of Christianity. We must never suppress the historical truths surrounding the life of Jesus Christ presented in the Gospels. For Perrin, history and Christianity are inseparable because of the nature of the resurrection.
“I do claim that for historical reasons we can have a great deal of confidence in the scriptural record of Jesus’ words – and for that matter, his deeds as well. My own confidence may initially be born of biblical faith, but it is not a faith willfully oblivious to historical realities. Nor is biblical faith to be afraid of historical inquiry; rather, it seeks out such inquiry. If faith and history collide, it might make a pretty mess for a time. But the only worse mess is a stillborn faith that insists on fleeing history and, ultimately, the world in which we live. Never let it be said that the self-revelation of Jesus Christ demands blind acquiescence. Rather, it demands we ask questions when we’ve come to realize, once again, that we don’t yet fully understand the implications of that revelation.” (42)
The above passage forms the heart of Lost in Transmission. Perrin’s book attempts to demonstrate the need for us to do business with historical inquiry and to answer historical questions correctly. [more]
Sounds like something I want to read. Trevin Wax intends to post an interview with the author tomorrow at his blog, Kingdom People [which always has interesting stuff].

Update 4/1: The promised interview with Nicholas Perrin.

Do We Know What Jesus Said? « Kingdom People

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