Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hard Times


[By the way, I have seen comments on the web to the effect of: “Who does he think he is, talking to us about exegesis?” Let me again clarify the fact that I was ASKED to comment on these issues. Furthermore, the simple fact of the matter is that (unlike my critic) I have an earned doctorate from one of the world’s top universities, in New Testament studies. I have proven my competence as a New Testament scholar, outside the safe and secure playground of evangelicalism. So if I am being asked why I presume to have something to say on these matters, I can simply note that I have published in places such as the Journal for the Study of the New Testament, and the Library of Second Temple Studies. I have presented papers at the national meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. My doctoral dissertation ( “Jewish Eschatology as a Matrix for Understanding the Death of Jesus in Early Christianity”) has been accepted (pending revisions) by a major academic publisher. My vocal critic, on the other hand, has yet to demonstrate the capacity to even successfully navigate the course of study of a masters degree program at a satellite campus of an evangelical seminary. Yet he regularly takes it upon himself to correct the “errors” of seasoned scholars who have a proven track record of academic excellence and credibility. Maybe he should wait until he has at least completed the modest task of finishing graduate school with a decent GPA, before pontificating about issues which are quite evidently beyond his present grasp and realm of competence.]


Truly the cause of Reformed Catholicism hath fallen upon hard times. Paul Owen, after reams and reams of great swelling words about catholicity, ecclesial authority, and historical continuity, up and became a Body-rending schismatic, while Kevin Johnson and Tim Enloe, after whispering sweet nothings into the ticklish ears of Romish suitors, burned their bridges with two of the leading Romo-bloggers. And now we have Dr. Owen unloose this terrible string of abuse.

Just because Tim Enloe was critical of Owen’s Anglo-Catholic Mariolatry, is that any reason for Owen to remind the world of Enloe’s limited academic attainments? Whatever happened to the milk of human kindness and cordial of Christian charity?

Just because Master Enloe is attending the safe and secure playground of a third-tier Evangelical college, having as yet to complete the modest task of earning an undergraduate degree, much less a masters or a doctorate, is no reason for Owen to be quite so censorious. Unless, that is, Dr. Owen is alluding to Kevin Johnson’s lack of academic credentials.

Surely Dr. Owen is not insinuating that Enloe and Johnson should wait until they have his resume before they presume to pontificate on issues which are quite evidently beyond their present grasp and realm of competence.

Why, if that is where the bar is set, then there would be scarcely any reason to visit Communio Sanctorum at all.

On second thought, maybe that’s not such a bad idea. Who are they to attack such seasoned scholars as Dr. Svendsen and the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy?


  1. So is his authority his degrees and his publication or creeds and confessions? I'm confused.
    Perhaps he should deal with what was written. As usual, he's all bluster and nothing more. Since when was a Ph.d and a laundry list of journals in one has been published the sine qua non of one's ability to interact with Dr. Owen?

    I repeat:

    "All who mingle their own inventions with the word of God, or who advance anything that does not belong to it, must be rejected, how honourable soever may be their rank." (John Calvin, Synoptic Gospels 2:284)

  2. Paul Owen's undergrad is at LIFE bible college and he's done graduate study at Dallas Theological Seminary - yea, that's impressive! (/insert sarcastic eye rolling) Owen is no scholar.

  3. Very interesting. When I compared the academic credentials of NT Wright to a Reformed teacher who was critiquing him in a recent publication, I was roundly condemned.

    What's the difference?

  4. To be fair, he does have an M.A. from Talbot School of Theology, Biola University; and a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, nomosian.