So says Bart Ehrman when you challenge his highly challengeable theological conclusions and claims. Ehrman’s new anti-Christian book, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don’t Know About Them), is lying on my desk, having just arrived. I flipped the book open to the back and my eyes fell upon this statement:
There is not literally a place of eternal torment where God, or the demons doing his will, will torture poor souls for 30 trillion years (as just the beginning) for sins they committed for thirty years. What kind of never-dying eternal divine Nazi would a God like that be? (p. 276).
Now, aside from the inherent problems (poor souls = innocent souls, the issue of divine justice, the continued hatred of those under punishment for God, etc.) in this common atheistic blast, the real issue is, does this book finally signal the end of Ehrman’s “I’m not a theologian, I’m just a high-brow scholar so I cannot be held accountable for all the theological pronouncements I make” excuse making? Will those in the “academy” finally see his real intentions, and start to recognize his bias? Personally, I sort of doubt it. Anyone who is embarrassed by the open profession of the lordship of Christ over the mind will not wish to risk their next invitation to some major conference by pointing out Ehrman’s bold anti-Christian zealotry. But churchmen who recognize when a wolf is stalking the sheep will do well to cull some of the whopper statements in this book as excellent examples of the fact that Ehrman is no unbiased textual critical scholar. He has moved far beyond the realm of his narrow expertise in his last three most popular books, all of which are designed to do one thing: destroy Christian faith.
I might note that the quote above would be just as applicable to the Islamic view of the fire as well. Just don’t ask Bart about that. As he begins his rounds on NPR, do you think someone will ask him, “So, you are saying Allah in the Qur’an is a never-dying eternal divine Nazi?” Yeah, probably not.