Hi James. Do you have ANY idea how incredibly obnoxious, petty and dense you come across in your interactions with Mark Seifrid? As if you even have a clue regarding the basics of the issues that fine scholar is addressing. (You should really leave technical NT issues to folks with genuine doctorates.) In a sense, it is a good thing that you finally aimed your gun at a fellow Baptist (since you have apparently run out of other targets), because now more people will see you for the divisive, self-inflated, attention-seeking schismatic that you have turned into. It’s sad to see someone who once had a certain amount of potential for useful Christian service self-destruct in such a manner. Your attempt to put another ivory tower academic scalp on your belt has really blown up in your face this time. –Paul 

Of course, this is the same Paul Owen who has said he would rather have a person in the Roman Catholic Church than a Baptist church to begin with, so I shouldn’t be surprised that once again there isn’t a shred of interaction, only ad-hominem and insult. I hadn’t mentioned anything about Owen for a while (evidently he was feeling left out), though I was going to use something he said as an example at one point. When discussing his almost completely unique views of the beliefs of Paul’s opponents in Galatia on the NTRMIN web board a few months ago, Owen very humbly pointed out that since he’s a real scholar, he has the right to speculate on such things and produce new theories. At the time I was reminded of the attitude of his kind of “scholarship” and how it is a very worldly-based concept, almost totally free of any relationship to the church, to the edification of the average believer in the pew, and it is central to the reason why any person slightly familiar with modern works of scholarship experience frustration in trying to find anything certain in what they say. Since there is no longer any basis for discernment in so much of what calls itself “Christian scholarship” today, the worldly idea that “every opinion is worthy of examination and acceptance” takes precedence. Hence, the range of “scholarly opinion” is as wide as the combined catalogs of all of the Christian publishers churning out the books, but the clarity of the gospel and the Christian faith is not advanced, despite the verbosity. Instead, this attitude leads even conservative scholars to invest much time and space in reviewing all sorts of strange, normally irrelevant, certainly not edifying, “theories,” only to end up having to mute any final conclusions with phrases like “this is a difficult passage” (is there any text that one could not find some “scholar” to dispute and hence make “difficult”?) and “the best we can do is say…”. And we wonder why there is no power in the proclamation from the pulpit? Perhaps it is because the Apostles did not couch the gospel in such phrases as, “It is possible that in one view we might have properly understood Jesus to mean this, but we really cannot be certain, as there are viable alternatives from another perspective, so you should temper your response based upon the options we have offered.” 

Of course, one will note that Owen didn’t touch the substance of what has been said. Any opportunity to add to the large file of “you are such an idiot” e-mails from this kind and gracious Presbyterian scholar will not be passed up, I have learned. I do hope someone will actually interact with the cited materials and discussion, but so far, no one has. 

Ironically, it has never once crossed my mind that Dr. Seifrid would ever act like Paul Owen. I maintain true hope that if he were to actually read what I have written, understand the transparent motivations expressed from the start, that he would never, ever respond in such a fashion.

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