Daily Archives: 2007-04-27 21:56:55 GMT+0000

Ancient historians’ accounts of shipwrecks

Some of my recent posts on the shipwreck scenes in Acts have been referred to another site where they have been critiqued without link to this site thus making it impossible for my original pieces and their contexts to be crosschecked against that review. (Why do some sites do that? Seems the essence of unethical netiquette to me!) read more »

Finding Home

I last night read a biographical account of a young sceptic returning to his old religion and what hit me was his description of it as “finding home” at long last. It hit me because those words were the same that came to my mind when I found a faith and a people sharing that faith years ago. And years later after leaving that faith and looking back I saw how that’s what I had been wanting. Home. And even after leaving the faith I still felt the ‘at home’ feeling with some of the people who remained behind. read more »

Is “intellectual parasite” too strong a term?

A “no-no” in any genuine intellectual enquiry is to pick selectively only the data and research that supports your hypothesis and giving scant attention to whatever denies it. By “scant attention” I mean ad hoc rationalization, routine focusing on only those articles that point to limitations of the problematic data and its interpretation, or simply opting to ignore it.

This, of course, is an obvious truism, so how could one possibly do this? One answer: by working with a hypothesis that is ultimately rooted in a “faith” or “belief” as opposed to hypothesis that is methodically or intuitively worked out through a grappling with tests, data, research and the methods and values that underpin the selection and understanding of these. Add to this a failure to appreciate the next step: a hypothesis is just a hypothesis and needs to be thoroughly tested, not rationalized or selectively supported.

This is why there is no place in true scholarship for a “biblical scholar” selecting a hypothesis that coheres with their faith and backing it up with whatever evidence respectably does the job. Michael Fox states what should be obvious:

Faith-based study is a different realm of intellectual activity that can dip into Bible scholarship for its own purposes, but cannot contribute to it. read more »