Culture At Large

From scholar to skeptic

Andy Rau

Bart Ehrman's bestseller Misquoting Jesus is getting some online attention lately. In the book, Ehrman describes his transition from "Christian fundamentalist scholar" to agnostic.

Once he was a seminarian and graduate of the Moody Bible Institute, a pillar of conservative Christianity. Its doctrine states that the Bible "is a divine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit."

But after three decades of research into that divine revelation, Ehrman became an agnostic. What he found in the ancient papyri of the scriptorium was not the greatest story ever told, but the crumbling dust of his own faith.

I've not read Ehrman's book, but the above article gives some examples of the sorts of Biblical teachings and stories that caused him to question and eventually abandon his faith. It's really tempting to start picking at his arguments and pointing out what I think are their flaws, but I suspect that Ehrman's loss of faith isn't grounded in any one particular Bible verse or argument against Christianity, but in something larger and more difficult to pin down.

The question that's on my mind isn't "Why is Bart Ehrman wrong about the Bible?" or "What are the flaws in Ehrman's arguments against Christianity?" Rather, what I'm interested in is this question: What would you have said to Ehrman if he had come to you with his doubts about Scripture and Christianity? He's certainly not the first devoted Christian to drift away from the faith--maybe you know somebody going through the same thing, or perhaps you've been in Ehrman's shoes.

Have you ever been confronted by a Christian who was seriously doubting the truth of Christianity? How would you respond to somebody who wanted to believe but was plagued by gnawing doubt? If you've been a "doubter" yourself, what if anything kept you from abandoning your faith?

Topics: Culture At Large, Arts & Leisure, Books, Theology & The Church, The Bible, Faith