Tuesday, April 24, 2012
James McGrath reviews Bart Ehrman's latest book
So you can get a jump start on the nuts and bolts. McGrath is good, very good about breaking things down. Ehrman is good as well. Though at times he seems to exploit the ignorance of his audience in things biblical (like building his audience up to the *shocking* revelation that John 8 isn't in most early manuscripts - something just about every Bible has in a footnote), I still admire him and his quest for truth. Raised in a hardcore fundamentalist camp with a radically literalistic take on Scripture and the Faith, he bolted when he realized the evidence wasn't there. No it isn't. And it's not shocking that when I read testimonials from atheists and non-believers who came from Christianity, they tend to come from three camps: Fundamentalists who demand a massive conspiracy of everything learned; Liberal and left leaning traditions who, as Sam Harris rightly points out, are almost 9/10 there anyway; and cradle Christians who simply took things for granted without ever giving them much thought (Catholics rating very high in this category). But in any event, Ehrman at least continues to grapple with the facts and tries to draw his conclusions accordingly, putting him head and shoulders above so much of what passes for modern atheism today.