A number of well-known theologians, including folks such as D.A. Carson, Ben Witherington, Craig Evans, and Alvin Plantinga, have contributed video responses to many issues raised by Bart Ehrman (who I have mentioned before), to The Ehrman Project, a website whose sole purpose is to address these issues.
The site is well put-together, with specific responses to each of Ehrman’s books. There is also a resource page with links to numerous articles addressing these issues.
On one hand, I’m not sure Ehrman is worth the trouble. However, his books have proven fairly popular, and most people do not have the background or understanding with which to judge Ehrman’s claims. So, this site should prove to be a very helpful resource, especially as—as Erhman himself states—none of these thoughts are new or unique to Erhman.
Here’s a short intro video from the site (it appears the videos are also available on YouTube):
There’s one thing I need to clear up before I actually post what I’m about to post. Although I currently use a drawing of Martin Luther as my Facebook photo and tend to quote Luther on occasion, I am not a Missouri Synod Lutheran (a more conservative Lutheran branch, which some have even called fundamentalist), or currently a Lutheran of any stripe. This is not that Lutherans are bad, by any means. I was one (Lutheran Church in America) for my first 20 or so years.
For several years I have referred to myself as a Lutheran expatriate, and more recently as Episco-Lutheran. I am not obsessed with Lutheran theology, but I do read it at times, because I really like to understand what different churches believe. There are some things about Lutheran theology (Missouri Synod, at least) that I question, and a lot about the liberal Lutheran church that I question. Still, I think traditional Lutherans have a lot of things right; more than not right, actually.
So, Without Further Ado…
Occasionally I will watch short videos by a Missouri Synod Luther pastor, Jonathan Fisk, who is teaching through the Gospel texts used by the LCMS (some churches actually plan these things out many years in advance… go figure). He’s entertaining, and pretty smart.
This week he goes off schedule to teach on the Beatitudes (you know, “blessed are the meek,” etc.). He makes the point that these are not meant to be curses (“be poor, so I can bless you”) but actually blessings. Furthermore, he introduces a concept that I think makes a lot of sense, based on a Hebrew poetic style, which would infer that Jesus was either really good, or that he actually thought out what he was saying ahead of time (again, go figure).
If you don’t actually want to watch 14 minutes of good Bible teaching, you can simply read what John H posts at the Confessing Evangelical blog. He summarize the content well.