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It appears that Professor Mike Licona has upset a growing number of conservative evangelical Christians. His crime? Reading the Bible with scholarly integrity and honesty. Rev Ken Temple (yes he is a pastor) is a long-standing commentator on this blog and a fearless advocate of what I call Christian fundamentalism: the dogmatic belief that the Bible is perfect, containing absolutely no errors, discrepancies or contradictions. He denounces Licona as a “liberal” (a big boo word in the US) and “disappointing”.
But evangelical scholar Licona has taken the road less traveled. He has admitted that Paul was wrong about the timing of Jesus’ second coming. He admits he has no solution to offer to some of the big contradictory accounts in the New Testament. He has the courage to face the facts that non-evangelical scholars have acknowledged for decades.
These problems will come as no surprise to mainstream Christians (and others) who have studied the text closely. The Bible obviously contains contradictions and errors. The problem of fundamentalism is its flight from the reality of the Bible itself.
UPDATE: El Cid, aka Radical Moderate, aka Robert Wells, a pugnacious Christian missionary, thinks Mike Licona is no longer even a Christian:
Such is the fundamentalist rejection of honest scholarship. Shocking.