If you have been reading this blog lately you know that I am conducting a book review of an LCMS publication entitled, “Making the Case for Christianity”, authored by a group of very accomplished LCMS theologians (and one LCMS attorney). I was shocked to find the following:
The arguments in this LCMS book of Christian apologetics, written in support of the historical claims of early Christianity, are built upon:
— one very big assumption (that evidence for a Creator automatically translates into evidence for the ancient Hebrew god, Yahweh)
— outdated New Testament scholarship (that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses)!
I have attempted to point this out by email to the majority of the authors of this book…but none of the authors have responded. I have sent an email to every LCMS district president (the bishops) regarding what I believe to be faulty scholarship in this book, asking them if this is the current teaching in LCMS seminaries, and have either been told to check with the authors or told that the only real issue of concern is my “anger” with my former pastor and with God!
No, my dear LCMS pastors and bishops, the real problem is that you are teaching naïve LCMS laypersons assumptions and outdated scholarship! One day these naïve laypersons are going to run up against, either in person or online, someone who knows something about current New Testament scholarship, and when your parishioner finds out you have been feeding him false, outdated information, he is going to lose trust in you and the Church.
You owe the people of the LCMS the truth.
Admit to them that modern New Testament scholarship no longer believes that the Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Admit to them that a majority of NT scholars now believes that NO eyewitness wrote the four Gospels or the Book of Acts.
The Resurrection accounts in the four Gospels and the Book of Acts can no longer be touted as based on eyewitness testimony. The majority of scholars say they are not. Believe in this supernatural claim by faith, if you wish, but stop preaching it as “objective fact”, as the LCMS authors of “Making the Case for Christianity” so boldly promised to prove in the foreword to their book…but failed to do.