Michael Bird, a lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne College of Mission and Ministry, writes at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Religion and Ethics:
Easter is now upon us, and we await the predictable onslaught of naysayers who declaim with an almost evangelical fervour that the Jesus story is one big lie. Such tirades by the evangelists of scepticism seem almost to constitute a pastoral responsibility on their part annually to reinforce the ideological conceits of their tribe of followers, thus providing atheists, agnostics and “nones” with reassurance that they needn’t take Jesus too seriously.
The opening salvo this year comes courtesy of the indefatigable Bart Ehrman. For those who don’t know, Ehrman is something of a celebrity sceptic in the United States. A professor of religion at the University of North Carolina, he was formerly a fundamentalist Christian who de-converted to agnosticism, and now writes books exposing the apparently fallacious claims of traditional Christianity. …
A genuinely erudite scholar of ancient texts and a fierce debater, Ehrman is the bane of traditionalists and the champion of sceptics. A pity, then, that he is almost always wrong.
Biretta tip: Kendall Harmon.