Jeff Siker’s posts have elicited some very interesting responses. I don’t think he can reply to everything, but I did ask him to take one of the questions and give it his best shot. So, see here below.

After this one I’ll ask him just to respond to comments in the comment section of the blog (rather than as separate posts) as/if he sees fit. Tomorrow you’re stuck back with me again….

Jeff Siker is the author of Jesus, Sin, and Perfection in Early Christianity, Liquid Scripture: The Bible in the Digital World and Homosexuality and Religion: An Encyclopedia.


QUESTION: Dr.Siker: Thanks so much. I certainly understand your remarkable description about how coming from a moderate background, rather than a fundamentalist background, may lead one to feel less betrayed and angry about what one was taught after one is jolted by studying the historical-critical approach to the Bible, but it still does not quite sort out for me. Maybe, this would help. How exactly would you explain your theology and how you got there to someone from Mars? Or maybe this would help. How would you go about trying to convince Dr. Ehrman of your position? It seems to me that Dr. Ehrman, as most of us, would be very open to convincing evidence. I also am not trying to put you in a corner, but am just searching.


JEFF SIKER’S RESPONSE: “Sorting Out the Historical Jolt, Human Suffering, and God”

Let me begin by saying that I also found historical criticism to be a bit of a jolt — not quite a betrayal, but surely a slap in the face. (Once in an early college paper I quoted C.S. Lewis to criticize Rudolf Bultmann’s demythologizing program; my professor’s marginal comment? — “what is the sound of one hand clapping?”!) But this was a gradual process for me and did not come as any kind of watershed moment. Nor did my faith come to me as any kind of revelatory conversion experience. As for my theology and Martians… explaining something presumes a common frame of reference, or at least enough of a common frame to make sense of what someone says. It reminds me of the joke that if the Martians are observing us, they must conclude that dogs are in charge because humans are constantly picking up their shit! So I’ll pass on the Martian question since I think we’d probably have to get some other more basic things out of the way before moving on to my theological vision.

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