Bias, agenda and lack of critical thought. These are the things one wants left out of studies of history, theology and science. It doesn’t always work out that way. Take the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (Nov/Dec).
In reading the letters concerning “progressive” versus “conservative” scholars, one begins to see a pattern emerge. This isn’t about whether or not the conservatives or evangelicals are scholarly enough, it’s about more people listening to them than the progressives or liberals. It seems the latter two are upset they aren’t getting enough attention so they try to discount their opponents.
There are many stellar scholars out there, but there’s a Christianity-wide (all people-wide?) problem with critical thinking and sound theological study that is not limited to any one group. Just look at some Seane Freyne’s comments in the same issue. His belief that Jesus wasn’t born in Bethlehem is based on a “sense.” He follows that with a very uncertain sounding explanation.
Instead of debating who the real scholars are, maybe everyone should return to basic critical thinking. And when someone disagrees with you, first determine if your theory is sound before claiming your intellectual superiority.