Friday, January 16, 2015

Rome's telling silence

On the day before Christmas Eve, Newsweek published a now infamous hit-piece on Christianity. It was, in part, andattack on the Bible, but it went beyond that to attack the Trinity, the deity of Christ, early church councils, &c. 

It has received rebuttals from Protestants like Michael Kruger, Dan Wallace, Darrell Bock, Robert Gagnon, Albert Mohler, Justin Taylor, Ben Witherington, Michael Brown, James White, Denny Burk, and Jeff Kloha. 

But there's something conspicuously absent. Where is the authoritative response from the One True Church®?

When, for instance, I mouse over to the USCCB site, I don't find any American bishop rebutting this hatchet-job. 

Have any members of the Catholic Biblical Association of America penned a rebuttal?

Or take Rome's self-appointed sentinels. When I mouse over to Catholic Answers–nothing. Called to Communion–nothing. Return to Rome–nothing.

I did find one revealing reaction from a Catholic philosophy prof. I believe he's an evangelical convert to Rome:

But for me this is all like Republicans trying to fit in on SNL... or like insisting that Catholic Scripture scholar Raymond Brown is the Church's friend. Anyone who has read Brown's THE BIRTH OF THE MESSIAH will realize that Kurt Eichenwald sounds a lot like him if you'd strip away the caustic tenor. The bottom line is that liberal Biblical scholarship and Higher Criticism can be ballyhooed all one wants for their "undeniable insights." In the end, they dissolve faith. And without patent, clear answering, they also diminish credibility. But view the websites for any Catholic publisher, and you'll find no good responses to modern skeptical scholarship. The tactic seems to be to avoid, and then decry, versus thoughtful answering.  
And crying hate is not going to fix the problem of attacks on the Bible's accuracy, any more than saying there are some good conservative books, too!, if the default mode of Scripture scholarship and clerical disposition is liberal. If the very language used about the Bible's accuracy is hedged by nods to Higher Criticism, if the entire Old Testament was essentially a committee project, we will be swallowed by tides that think truth is the result of committees and Living Tradition. And good, plainspun folk like Pope Francis who insist we send everyone off to universities for education are kidding themselves if they think those same students will graduate and be satisfied by homespun homilies, any more than will the Jesuits whose sophistication has led them past Biblical stories. Eichenwald went to Swarthmore and has his own band…On the Bible, Mohler wants to be outraged by the conversation. Catholics want to ignore it, even in their parochial schools.

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