Update – Neil believes the fandom bit is about him and is a swipe — because he thinks everything is a swipe against him. In speaking about fandom, I am referring to myself.
My new best buddy Neil has written a bit on my acceptance of Thomas Brodie‘s work in my book, Mimetic Criticism. I called Brodie’s work a masterpiece among other things. When Brodie first announced, I considered retracting those comments, but I felt like it would be unfair. I had not read Brodie’s book (still haven’t). But the books I did read (Birthing the New Testament, Crucial Bridge) I thought and still think are monumental books. So why would I change my mind about his work which was relevant to my work?
Of course, the first few pages of Dennis MacDonald’s book (the one where he suggests Mark used Homer), are brilliant. Guess what? You don’t have to agree with someone’s conclusions in order to appreciate, learn from, or even accept their methodology.
This is what I said to Neil:
Neil, I am at a loss for how to handle Brodie’s mythicism and I must admit it has made me reconsider the intellectual prowess of some mythicists. I haven’t read Brodie’s latest and might later so I cannot fully comment on my friend McGrath’s review.
I will stand by my remarks, which were written when his book was announced. I made the choice to go ahead and go with with them, even knowing what Brodie was going to say. (I had spoken with a someone who’d read the book in pre-pub)
As I said with DM, I can say about TB. His conclusions I do not support, but his methodology, research, and forward thinking ideas are gigantic and worthy of admiration. Brodie’s book, Birthing the NT, is outstanding, and I would use it in any NT class I taught. I do not think we should do Gospel Criticism without at the very least a long, heavy gaze towards Brodie’s work.
As I have stated in the recent past, the origin of the fact does not dismiss the fact. Brodie’s work on literary criticism of the New Testament has presented us a positive methodology, even if I disagree with his conclusions on the historical person of Jesus. I even disagree with some conclusions he has reached on the literary spring of the New Testament. But, this is the key to being an open-minded thinker. You do not have to accept every thing to accept some things. It is not an all or nothing world.
As far as commenting on McGrath’s review of Brodie’s work, I cannot. I haven’t read Brodie’s work.