The Necessity of Christian Scholarship

“If you make your enemy look a fool, you lose the justification for engaging him.” Oliver Lacon, in John Le Carré’s Smiley’s People. Years ago I became acquainted with the work of the Presbyterian scholar Robert Dick Wilson. A student of the Old Testament, he had taken up the study, one time or another, of some 25+ languages (Hebrew–and Samaritan, Amorite, the Akkadian languages, Sumerian, Hurrian, along with French, German, etc) and used them in his defense of the Old Testament’s reliability. I had a professor at Rutgers, Stephen Reinert, who knew 16. For him obtaining a…

Humility and Gratitude: sine quibus non of the studious mind

“We are not sure we are right until we have made the best case possible for those who are wrong.” Lord Acton We live in an age where people read little, but yet vehemently assert the verity of their own opinions. Debates during the Reformation were bruising affairs. Not only did they demand quick wits, a vast memory, and a comprehension of all the implications of various doctrines and the arguments attendant on them, but it took thick skin and a ready wit. The key thing, however, was never to underestimate your interlocutor. Sure, you could…