12 July 2006

Everyone's Poster Boy?

I hope I can write a coherent post without naming this person. The reason I'm not naming him is that I feel it could be viewed as "damning with false flattery" when it's absolutely not my intention to do that whatsoever.

In fact, this post is not about him at all. At least not about him as a person. I think it's about him as a symbol, though.

Everyone loves him. Heck, I love him, I really do. The man is an incredibly gifted Christian scholar and he's incredibly gifted at communicating his ideas to the proverbial person in the street or the proverbial person in the pew. And he's opened up new worlds of understanding to me as - I'm quite sure - he has done for many others. There is no "but" that follows this paragraph; unqualified admiration chez PamBG - long may he live, long may he publish, long may he open up new theological insights to the Church.

What I've noticed, though, in my trawls through blogdom is that there are lots of people who are waving various theological flags in the Christian theology wars who seem to want to claim him for their very own poster-boy.

This makes me wonder again about the utility of these theology-wars. My gut instinct is that if factions who hell-bent on denigrating each other (and I'm not just talking about the h-topic) all want to claim him as a theologian who really understands where they are at, maybe just maybe we're not actually as far apart as we like to make out? Maybe just maybe our own theological necessities are actually nit-picking rather than necessary.

What is it about the human psyche that makes us think that we can only be good in the light of the other guy being bad?


Mary said...

Hi Pam,

Thank you for your insightful words here. I'm in the U.S. so any # of people may apply. Appreciate your response to Michael at the preachingpeace.org blog -
blessings to you in your ministry

PamBG said...

Thank you for your kind words, Mary.

Sandalstraps said...


I left a comment to this effect at Ben Withington's blog, but since you said that you were bowing out there I thought I'd leave a comment here as well:

I misrepresented my own position on accident. My comment should have started with a double negative, saying that I am not saying that the resurrection is not historical. I left out the second not, and therefore made a single negative instead of a double negative.

You, in other words, read me correctly the first time. Sorry to have confused you. You were absolutely right about what I meant by the intersection between myth and history.

PamBG said...


Ah, then we are very much on the same page.

I found the whole "they are sound because they agree with us" thing irritating (hence this post!) and I was even more irritated by the accusation of lying.

I orginally found the blog quite interesting, but maybe I shouldn't go there anymore if I'm going to get irritated.

Sally said...

with you there Pam, I became embroiled in a few silly battles, everyone claimng their views were right because.... and yes I can probably identify the poster boy- but won't