Episode #79 - Does Apologetics Help Us Read The Old Testament? With Dr. Brent Strawn

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Continuing our conversation on Apologetics we want to take the next two episodes to ask whether apologetics helps us read Scripture. This week we want to ask that question in relation to the Old Testament specifically. We are joined by Dr. Brent Strawn, Professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School and Professor of Law at Duke University. He is the author of The Old Testament Is Dying: A Diagnosis and Recommended Treatment (Baker), and more recently, Lies My Preacher Told Me: An Honest Look at The Old Testament (Westminster John Knox). In our wide-ranging conversation, we talk about a number of issues pertaining to the use of the Old Testament in apologetic discussions. We pose several questions to Dr. Strawn, such as, why is it that apologetics makes it hard for us to read our Bibles, why we are perhaps less open to critical scholarship on the Old Testament than the New Testament, and what we should make of apparent contradictions if we aren’t going to feed the apologetic impulse to “tame” or “fix” the problem? Dr. Strawn contends that we need to see the big picture and put everything into perspective relative to central claims of our faith. He suggests that his approach is more compatible with a classic apologetic that is not mired in modernism and modernist constraints about what counts as facticity, historicity, etc. In the end, Dr. Strawn helpfully calls us to read with the grain of the text and to consider Augustine’s position that good interpretation ought to brings us into greater love of God and love of neighbor. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Brandon Hurlbert.

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