Doubting Thomas | Letters | Chicago Reader

Doubting Thomas 

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To the editors:

I read Thomas Sheehan's interview with great interest [April 21].

He is quite right in insisting that liberal theologians are inconsistent--they want to disbelieve the miracles of the New Testament and still hold to the uniqueness of Christ; they want to demythologize the New Testament and still have a savior of sorts. Sheehan is consistent enough to take liberalism to where it logically leads, namely to the complete emasculation of Christianity. In the end there is nothing left except love your neighbor and do justice, ideas that we could have thought up on our own.

What is unfortunate is that Sheehan has accepted the liberal premises, namely, that we are too sophisticated to believe in miracles and hence must make Christ more believable to modern man. He also is forced to accept the discredited notion that the eye witnesses actually made up the stories about Christ's miracles and resurrection.

Interestingly, Sheehan was not able to give even a shred of historical evidence for his radical views. Not one scrap of a manuscript, not one archaeological find, not one new historical reference, just the same tired inferences that liberals have made for generations.

Why, I might ask, should we believe Sheehan when we have eye-witness accounts? Would not the apostle John who heard and saw Christ be in a better position to tell us what happened than a revisionist living 20 centuries from the events?

Sheehan totally ignored the last 50 years of linguistic, historical and archaeological scholarship that has confirmed the historical trustworthiness of the New Testament documents. Ask the archaeologists such as William Ramsey, Sir Robert Kenyon and Albright.

The article tells us much more about Sheehan than it does about Christ. Sheehan's revisionism appears necessary only to accommodate his own unbelief. He makes headlines only because he is more honest than other liberals who have similar groundless presuppositions but are too afraid to voice them.

The Bible has nothing to fear from the Sheehans of this world. All attempts to strip Christ of His credentials are like trying to put out fire with straw.

Erwin W. Lutzer

Senior Pastor

The Moody Church

N. LaSalle

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