Benjamin Hlastan’s Concerns about the Missiological-Apologetic Implications of Licona’s Approach to Mt. 27
Dear Dr. Geisler,
Thank you for sending this article. I just read it and agree with the conclusions and the urgency of this matter. As a missionary, a pastor and an apologist in the European context, I cannot overemphasize the importance of this topic not only in theology proper, but also in it’s effect in practice. The desire and the ability of people to be merchants and give away the treasure of God’s word to gain temporal pleasures of “modern” philosophical trends is amazing. Yet, the results in daily practice are obvious in anemic and self-destructive lives, churches and societies.
Missiologically, if Licona were right, and the same principle were applied elsewhere, there’s nothing left to tell the lost world, nor to engage it on a common ground – history and science. But, as I deal daily with people on one-to-one basis or in groups in the public anti-Christian arena, my experience has been that the innerancy/reliability of the Bible is the single most important issue to which a contemporary man even pays attention, and is willing to be informed, which in turn leads to the content of the Bible – Christ. I have story after story to prove that. One should only hear the silence that falls upon the people, and the amazing attentiveness that follows, when just a few pieces of evidence for the Bible are presented. Even the hardest and most vocal critics listen and frantically search for any counter-perspectives. So, Licona’s issue removes, speaking from a human standpoint, the foundation for missions and evangelism of the contemporary society, as well. Have we not learned anything from somewhat recent times of Bultmann etc., and their desire to “defend” the Bible with faulty methods? If so, who cares then if any grave be empty at all? I think it is not a coincidence that just before the two world wars happened, the authority of the Bible was denounced. Ironically, Wellhausen witnessed both events, the rejection of God’s Word and the destruction of God’s Work (man) in the WW I (isn’t this patten so familiar from Gen. 3 and 4?), and I wonder if Wellhausen (or for that matter, our generation) ever connected the dots…
Sincerely in Him,
Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia
May 14th, 2012