In recent days we have heard a good deal about the revival of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. Both CHRISTIANITY TODAY and Christian Century have had editorials on this matter. It would be unfortunate if a destructive type of controversy would develop out of this endeavour. Please let us define our terms, beware of over- or understatements of the opponent’s views, and may we have the grace to recognize those as brothers beloved who acknowledge in word and deed Jesus Christ to be Lord and Saviour. That all is not well even among the critical scholars is attested by a discerning article, “The Current Plight of Biblical Scholarship,” by Prof. C. C. McCown (Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. LXXV, March 1956). But has agreement been reached with regard to the Greek New Testament? McCown speaks of “the dubious predicament of the ‘science’ of biblical exegesis today, a predicament shared with all culture.” He calls for “imagination, original and creative scholarship in the face of danger of failure and defeat.” He writes:
“For 75 years scholars (like ourselves!) have been presenting their most brilliant ideas to the annual meetings and printing them in the Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature. But, not only between the Continent and America, but within the American groups, differences are sharper than ever, partly because of the altered tone of society in general, but partly, perhaps largely, because of the failure of our scholarship to attain assured and agreed results. Our very right to freedom of thought, criticism and expression is under attack in many quarters. Biblical scholarship is most directly involved in the anti-intellectual and anti-liberal movements of the present moment, as well as from those ...1
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