It bears repeating...

Some of the comments relating to the resurrection posts have introduced a very unnecessary and troubling ad hominem element to the discussion.

Because I maintain an uncompromising historical approach to my work and find theological apology troubling when it is trotted forth as "history," I have been accused of saying that evangelicals cannot be scholars. I have been labeled a secular humanist and dismissed as anti-religious.

I have never said that evangelicals (or anyone of a faith) cannot be scholars. I have never said that one must be a secular humanist to be a scholar. As for the labels secular humanist and anti-religious, these are not terms I would use to describe my own religious heritage or leanings.

What I have said and maintain is that to approach the materials as a historian requires that the scholar leave behind the apology and the theology. If a scholar is worried about the outcome of his or her investigation - that it maintain, preserve, match, or explain his or her faith - then the investigation has been or will be compromised. I, in fact, have many close colleagues from a diversity of faith traditions (Baptist; Southern Baptist; Catholic; Methodist; Presbyterian; Pentecostal; Episcopalian; Anglican; Russian Orthodox; Greek Orthodox; Coptic Orthodox; Unitarian; Reform Jewish; Buddhist; Hindu; Mormon; Gnostic; etc.) whose scholasticism is historically praiseworthy and uncompromising in my opinion. In fact, my own work is better because of theirs.

I have also said and maintain that the field of biblical studies has been and continues to be controlled by faith concerns, which (among other things) manifests in the dominance of the biblical canon and the marginalization of other early literature. The marks of this are throughout the Academy, as well as the universities, whose classes and textbooks for instance are marketed as Introductions to the Old Testament, Hebrew Bible, or New Testament. Rarely do we find departments willing to post and hire positions in early Judaism or early Christianity without the OT and NT tags and expectations.

This does not mean that I think that the theological pursuit is worthless, as some have wrongly insinuated. I think that the theological pursuit is entirely worthwhile as a pursuit of its own. It is only when theology is marketed as history that I object.