Theology for the Long Haul

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mixin' it up for the Glory of God!

What do The Case Against the Case for Christ by Robert Price and Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray have in common?

Nothing, and maybe that's the point.

A few days ago I started plowing through The Case Against the Case for Christ in preparation for my classes beginning next week (we are spending a couple days on Bart Ehrman and a couple on Robert Price as preparation for college). It has been laborious let me tell you.

In TCATCFC, Price sets out to discredit Lee Stroble and the host of scholars and teachers he references and interviews in his A Case for.... series. Price spends as much time "bleeding his heart" and venting his bitterness as addressing real issues. His argument is full of opinion and scathing criticism, but not clearly conveyed. Thankfully, I don't think he has written successfully to students or scholars. He is far too technical for undergraduate students or a popular audience and his bias lacks the professionalism needed to make sense to Academics. It is difficult to take seriously someone who, without fail, accepts the most critical opinion on all matters all of the time (whether it is the most logical or not). It's a heart problem, in my opinion.

On the other side of spectrum, I have been reading Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murry. Many of you have probably read this book (if you haven't, you must), and have found it to be as enriching and encouraging as I have. In the book, Murray encourages the believer to not only hear God's loving and generous call to salvation, but also His call to abide. I am in constant need of this reminder. Like you, I have found that a busy life is not conducive to intimacy with God. I make myself too busy to abide, and so I fail to live in all of the blessing Christ's work affords me.

So why am I reading these two books at the same time?

Because God has called me to read and understand people like Robert Price, and He has called me to care for my soul. There are many scholars and students who have sacrificed their spiritual life for the self-made glory of academia. The academic world thrives on human pride and teacher worship. The cost of seeking to glorify God in this profession (I prefer to think of it as a ministry) can be high if you don't purposefully determine to abide.

At the end of the day, there is no life other than what is found in Christ, and there is not glory that lasts--save that given by Christ at the end of one's life.

Fulfill your calling, but also abide. You cannot accomplish the former without prioritizing the latter.


  1. "theres no place like home" comes to Him...

  2. Phil, I just heard Robert Price in a friendly debate on the "Unbelievable" UK radio show. He came across as one of the more generous skeptics, offering mild appreciation of the Old Testament Hebrew slavery. And he expressed his disgust towards Dawkins, et. al. All of this surprised me. But all the guests hinted that Price's Historical Jesus work would cause a whole lot more disagreement on the show.

    - M. Moser

  3. That's good. I think ( especially given the nature of his book) Price was not in the best frame of mind when he wrote.