He simply walked in

Dr. Farnell dropped his paper (docx format) and PowerPoint on the Evangelical community today at the International Society of Christian Apologetics, and it is sure to make controversy resound when it lands.

The trend within Evangelicalism over the past couple of decades has been to adopt ideologies that are classically defined as "liberal" -- embracing of a synoptic problem, searching for the "historical Jesus," and all that stuff lay people would think of when someone says, "Jesus Seminar."

Of pertinent focus for this blog, there is no Gospel message if we cannot trust the four Gospels.

Dr. Farnell (see faculty page), affectionately known as "Maximus" among his (frightened) students, dared to connect the dots between what Evangelical scholars are doing today and what mainline denominations were doing at the height of the modernist-fundamentalist controversy.  He asks, "Is history repeating itself?" and you will be doomed to the hard lessons of the past if you do not read it.  If you cannot access one of the versions above for whatever reason, The Journal of of the International Society of Apologetics contains it in a much abbreviated version  (3/1 2010 pp. 83-107) .

The difference between that controversy and today is that Evangelicals are trying to use the weapons of the "enemy" to try to bring liberals over to our table (people are never our enemy, but you know what I mean... don't interrupt!).  It's a feat of "See, we're scholars too, please come and talk to us."

It's not easy when you're not at the cool-kids' table, but cool is in the eyes of the beholder.

Well, the whole discussion in class prompted one student to make a Lord of the Rings analogy -- particularly, the hope many in the story shared that the One Ring of the enemy could be used to gain the good guys victory.

I had already been thinking about making a couple of motivational posters for the class (one of the ones I had in mind did not work), so I piggy-backed off that idea:

I emailed it to him for a laugh.  He loved it and asked for the following variations.  Vote for your favorite:

And, of course, that prompts one final poster:

I added an extra goodie in this picture...  500 extra points to the person who notices first.

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