Richard Hughes on the Scholarly Christian Mind

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I am experiencing the fear of being misunderstood.

With my thesis work and I hope SBL Paper, as well as exploring mimetic criticism, there will no doubt be some misunderstanding of my position on the Historical Jesus, on the Christian Faith and Tradition. I believe that Jesus existed and that the Gospel is what Scripture says it is. Further, I believe that the Christian Faith and Traditions are Truth. However, with that said, let me clarify my position. I do not see Truth as a black and white, fiction or non-fiction stance, secular or sacred. If Scripture contains what we today call fiction, it doesn’t make Scripture false. That is an Enlightenment way of thinking, and just as we mistakenly view Scripture through the lens of Science, Scripture is not a modern Western book to be viewed in modern categories. This is why I appreciate this series by Dr. ]], a favorite Christian thinker of mine. It concludes here

Take the theme of paradox, for example. Parker Palmer laments the fact that many scholars—indeed, most Westerners in general—tend to think the world apart into true/false, black/white, good/bad, or sacred/secular. On the other hand, Palmer suggests that serious scholars will hold profound truths in paradoxical tension, even when the pressure is great to think them apart.

Happily, the notion of paradox also stands at the core of the Christian gospel—a point I developed at some length in the first of these four posts.

I agree with him there… we have placed a false dichotomy upon Scripture, which is limited to the scholarly faithful. Scholarship needs not ‘defend’ Scripture. Scripture, without any inference from us, is what it is and nothing will change that. We need to examine it because by examining it, we find ourselves in its great narrative. The theology of Scripture comes from us knowing Scripture and from knowing ourselves through its lens. I know that my work will no doubt bother some, but that is okay. Scholarship and Theology is always going to bother someone.

Just… before you judge, ask.

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2 Replies to “Richard Hughes on the Scholarly Christian Mind”

    1. Wait… he’s your old Prof? Awesome. I was able to interview him for his book, Christian Nation/Kingdom of God. Loved that book, and will be getting this one soon.

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