Following up on my post about the Bible, scholarship, and a recent blog post by Dan Wallace about liberal openness as a “myth,” Doug Mangum offers a post that highlights the tension between Dan’s motto (“go where the evidence leads”) and the penchant for heresy trials and excommunications at conservative institutions, which clearly send the message “if the evidence leads you there, you’re out of here.”
Also related is Jim Linville’s take on how to deal with the multiplying of sessions at SBL and the increasing presence at conferences not only of “faith-based approaches” but also of things that are simply not scholarly in any sense of the word. And so I do agree with Jim (and Alan) that having standards for membership is appropriate. But I’m not entirely sure that having numerous smaller sessions is in every respect a bad thing (although clearly it can go too far). Those small sessions usually include an audience that is genuinely interested in the topic of the session, and the interaction that takes place is thus often valuable. But I do agree with Jim and April that there are issues that need to be looked at and addressed.
And since this topic was started at the Reclaiming the Mind blog, I should draw attention to another recent post there. This one dismisses a plausible historical scenario regarding the burial of Jesus as having no evidence to support it, ignoring even Evangelical scholar Craig Evans’ work on that very topic, presumably in the interest of apologetics, since some have apparently tried to offer this scenario (that Jesus was buried in a common grave for criminals) as an alternative to the resurrection. I left a comment, mentioning the work on this subject of Raymond Brown, Byron McCane, and myself.