Chicken Little Scholarship

When possible (I am often hopelessly behind), I try to include the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society in my regular reading.  A week or two ago I quoted from Daniel Wallace's excellent piece in the June 2006 issue -- a review of Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus

Wallace makes a comment at the end that has much wider implications, about an issue that has long concerned me: Bible and theology professors in both liberal and conservative institutions who undermine (whether deliberately or not) their students' confidence in the Bible as the Word of God.  In liberal institutions this is usually done by professors who have thrown over the evangelical or fundamentalist faith of their upbringing and have a life-long project of debunking orthodoxy.  In conservative institutions this is usually done by professors who are still wrestling with the questions they could not fully answer in a doctoral program at a secular university, and who want to expose the answers they once accepted but now fine wanting, under the pressure of liberal scholarship.  

In the church, however, scholars have a responsibility to build up faith and not to undermine it.  Here is how Wallace addresses the issue: