Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Mythmakers or photorealists?

Ed Babinski is an apostate backwoodsy fundamentalist. Not “fundamentalist” in the sophisticated, academic sense that you’d find among the current faculty at, say, Dallas Theological Seminary. But of the Hal Lindsey/Tim LaHaye variety. Although he lost his faith, he reads the Bible the same way he did in his backwoodsy days.

So, for him, it’s just “obvious” that the Bible teaches a geocentric, flat-earth cosmography.

On the other hand, you have Babinski’s cohorts. His fellow contributors to TCD. In stark contrast to Babinski’s photorealism, Carriers takes a diametrically opposing position. He assures us that “the Gospel according to Mark…was not even written as history, but as a deliberate myth…Matthew did the same thing, radically refictionalizing the resurrection narrative…thus communicating the ‘true meaning’ of the Gospel without any evident interest in historical fact. And Luke appears to have fabricated his Emmaus narrative…Even John added stories never before heard (like John 2) that seem more symbolic than true. Scholars have documented countless other examples of mythmaking in the Gospels,” TCD, 304.

Likewise, Robert Price regards the entire Christ-event as just another iteration of the dying-and-rising-savior-god monomyth.

So while Babinski makes his case against the Bible on the assumption that Bible writers earnestly meant their depictions to be taken with utmost literality, Babinski’s cocontributors to TCD make their case against the Bible on the assumption that Bible writers were calculated mythmakers who camouflaged religious symbols under the guise of refictionalized “history.”


  1. I was wondering if you could help me develop a theology of evangelism. (Please forgive this comment for not being related to the post).

    I have a lot of questions. Among them are:

    How is the human act of evangelism related to God's act of converting a human heart?

    God is at liberty to convert someone apart from the evangelist's efforts, right? So does it follow that evangelism isn't intrinsically necessary to conversion?

    Does the evangelist's method, intelligence, eloquence, or persuasiveness play a role in whether his audience is converted? But still, it seems most evangelists try to improve their method, education, etc. Why?

    What is my duty as an evangelist? To only proclaim the Gospel of Jesus? Or should I also try to persuade people to believe the Gospel of Jesus, to defend the Gospel of Jesus, to answer objections?

    Can I, as an evangelist, "mess things up" so that someone whom God might have saved had I presented the Gospel in a more compelling, charismatic, scholarly, or clear way, not find salvation?

    I've heard Calvinist evangelists say things like, "Of course you don't understand. You're a pagan unbeliever?" This seems rude, but would such statements be considered rude by mainstream Calvinists? Would mainstream Calvinists rebuke an evangelist who said this kind of thing?

    When someone doesn't believe the Gospel after it has been clearly presented, whose fault is it? The evangelist's fault for not doing a better job or the unbeliever's fault for having a hard, unrepentant heart, or God's fault for not electing him?

    Also, do you know a good, practical, theology of evangelism that you could recommend?

  2. A good practical theology of evangelism is to study the methods of Jesus and Paul especially. Much more could be said but it is not in line wth the subject so if the creators of this blog wish to move this question elsewhere I would love to contribute.

    I believe you can contact me directly so also feel free to do.

    I am a pastor with 20 years in the ministry of serving the Church.

  3. Grev said, "A good practical theology of evangelism is to study the methods of Jesus and Paul especially."

    Imagine I asked for a theology of suffering, or missions, or church discipline. Would you say, "You should study Jesus and Paul?"

    Do you think all we need is the Bible? Are Bible teachers and theologians unnecessary? If so, why are you one?

    Perhaps when I asked for a recommendation for a theology of evangelism, you assumed I had never read Jesus or Paul-hence your comment. Or perhaps you thout I wanted a Muslim theology of evangelism.

    Your comment wasn't helpful.

  4. Steve, To your way of thinking, what differentiates you from a "fundamentalist" (i.e., of the DTS variety). Thanks.

  5. The short answer is that I'm not a Dispensationalist, and I don't subscribe to a Dispensational hermeneutic.