There are days that I wonder if academic work in theology, all the big words and time and such, really matters. Could we just love God and love others and follow Jesus and leave it at that? Some days I think so.
And then I hear interviews like the one I just hear on the Michael Smerconish show and I realize why GOOD theology, GOOD biblical studies, and GOOD historical work really is critically important. Smerconish just interviewed Vincent Bugliosi, author of Divinity of Doubt: The God Question, in which Bugliosi levels an argument against both atheism and theism, and concluded that being agnostic is the most reasonable solution possible.
My beef after the interview was not with Bugliosi, I actually think the book sounds interesting. However, he gave some of his argument against the Christian faith and I was STUNNED at the version of Christianity he presented. His argument seemed thin because the version of Christianity he was knocking down was weak at best, but the version he was knocking down is a very popular version of the faith.
When we refuse to do the hard work of theology and biblical and historical studies, we rob the church of a deeper understanding of who God is and leave people open to reading works like Bugliosi’s book and concluding that we believe little more than a fairy tale.