Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Where do liberal Bible scholars come from?

I have had people who don't know me call me a "liberal." I am not always sure what they mean by that since it is one of those labels that can be used flexibly just like the label "conservative." As my readers know, I don't really like labels. I suspect what they mean is that I don't think or believe the way they do therefore I must be a "liberal."

But where do "liberals" come from? Are they born that way? Are they brainwashed? Over on the Huffington Post Greg Carey has a good article on how "we" are developed. This one paragraph I think really explains, for many of us, our backgrounds and how we feel.
Biblical scholarship is an academic discipline, taught and studied at universities, colleges and divinity schools all around the world. So it should be no surprise that biblical scholars run in all shapes, sizes, colors and denominations. What would surprise many people, though, is that a very large number of us love Jesus and the church, and we spend hours upon hours communicating the love and wonder we experience with the Bible. Indeed, some of our secular colleagues justifiably complain there are too many of us in the field. More surprising might be this one fact: many of us have our roots in fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity. The best way for conservative churches to produce "liberal" biblical scholars is to keep encouraging young people to read the Bible.
You can read Greg's article here.


  1. John, you're clearly a liberal because your HuffPo to Fox News article citation ratio is overwhelmingly in favor of HuffPo. Case closed, comrade worker. Now, back to work for the glory of the State.

  2. It's funny how we all interpret things differently.

    In that specific passage about slaves respecting the authority of their owners, to me it makes perfectly good sense.

    To do otherwise always got the slave harmed and often murdered. Just study history.

    So, the author of this piece I assume would have advised slaves in 60 AD to revolt and get crucified like slaves did in Rome and who then is more demonstrative of wisdom and love for the slave, Paul( and IMO God) or this author?

    Knee jerk thoughtless understanding of the intent there, IMO.