Criticisms and Reviews of Bart Ehrmans books on textual criticism and the New Testament from Bible Gateway:
- Michael Bird (author of the Ehrman rebuttal, mentioned above) lays out five lines of evidence missing from Ehrman’s <em”>How Jesus Became God. Bird elaborates on his points, and shares two excerpts from his rebuttal book How God Became Jesus, at World Magazine.
- Ehrman has written a response to critics of his book. Bird offers a few comments on Ehrman’s defense.
- Rob Bowman has an excellent breakdown and analysis of both books, fairly listing their strengths and weaknesses.
- Popular politics/culture blogger Andrew Sullivan has been extensively discussing How Jesus Became God with his readers, publishing a variety of both positive and negative points.
- Andreas Köstenberger pens a thoughtful but critical review of How Jesus Became God at The Gospel Coalition.
- Fuller Theological Seminary professor J.R. Daniel Kirk has written a multi-part review of How Jesus Became God, and believes that its Christian critics are misunderstanding Ehrman’s argument. Bird has responded to the review.
Here is the original source for these critiques of Ehrman.
Note: Bart Ehrman is an agnostic/atheist who is critical of the New Testament, but ultimately concludes that the Historical Jesus did live.
I’ve also written a number of critiques of Ehrman on Compassion in Politics (this blog)
Cosmic Fingerprints: Lecture One:
Cosmic Fingerprints: Lecture Two:
Cosmic Fingerprints: Lecture Three:
Cosmic Fingerprints: Lecture Four:
The following is a direct quote from Dr. John Oakes:
Questions Science is good at answering:
- How many?
- By what means?
Questions Science is very bad at answering:
- Why am I here?
- Is that the right thing to do?
- How valuable am I?
- Does God exist? Does God act (theism)?
- Will that God respond if I pray?
- Do supernatural events (miracles) happen?
- Einstein: “Religion without science is lame but science without religion is blind.”
Dr. Oakes reminds us, “It does not answer the questions that everyone actually cares about.”
I borrowed this from Dr. John Oakes’ lecture notes here.
Here are the six core narratives that deal with suffering or evil in the Bible:
- Adam/Eve (origin of Evil)
- Jesus. Jesus knows our pain.
- Paul (Romans and elsewhere Paul is an incredible theodicy on the question of pain and suffering)
Honorable Mention. Here are another five which deal with evil or suffering:
- 2 Peter
In one sense its quite true that every story deals with evil, but I think these most directly deal with the key issues.
Its also worth paying attention to the wisdom literature, which isn’t necessarily directly connected to a specific narrative or allegory. Psalms about God’s love for us, His faithfulness, and the value of wisdom all point to answers to the problem of suffering and/or evil.
Remembering what God promises versus what he doesn’t promise is also critical. Psalms 23 in my opinion is helpful. We’re not promise pain free or suffering free lives. We’re promised spiritual comfort in our pain.
Stories which speak to our finiteness and lack of wisdom, and point to God’s overall infiniteness and wholeness also point to an answer to this philosophical and theological issue.
For more insights on the problem of suffering/evil I would suggest this list of Bible verses.
Here are four things Christians should do in suffering, which may be helpful to some.
The ultimate question is seeing things more from God’s perspective than ours. This really makes all the difference, but is hard in practice, especially in the middle of pain and suffering to fully understand.
Also our understanding of Heaven and eternity, as well as God’s purposes for us are critical to understanding the overall problem of pain, suffering, and evil.
Here is a pretty good response to the Problem of Evil and Suffering from Ravi Zacharias:
Here are more answers on the Problem of Evil from Ravi Zacharias on YouTube. I can’t guarantee they are all good, but if you investigate enough you should find real answers to your philosophical and perhaps even theological questions on the problem of evil.
Ravi even did a lecture on Pain and suffering which focused on CS Lewis here (it starts at 9:45).
Philosopher Peter Kreeft’s answers to the problem of pain, suffering, and evil are also pretty helpful here:
Quotes from Alister McGrath on the Problem of Evil/Suffering
Alistair McGrath states:
This hope is no groundless hope for it is grounded in the reality of the suffering and resurrection of Christ. For the resurrection of Christ demonstrates that suffering is not pointless but leads to glory. Christians know what awaits them at the end of history. The Biblical hope is for a new heaven and a new earth. Evil and suffering ended and so radically vanquished that what happened will only serve to make our future life and joy infinitely greater.17
They say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it”, not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.18
McGrath speaking of the Bible’s vision of hope says:
We are thus presented with a glorious vision of a new realm of existence. It is a realm in which suffering has been defeated. It is a realm pervaded by the refreshing presence of God, from which the presence and power of sin have been finally excluded. It lies ahead, and though we have yet to enter into it, we can catch a hint of its fragrance and hear its music in the distance. It is this hope, which keeps us going in this life of sadness, which must end in death.19
These three quotes from CS Lewis and Alister McGrath are from this larger essay on the problem of evil.