Michael F. Bird’s Version of Philippian 2:4-11: A Response to Bart Ehrman

39353Over at CT (Christianity Today) I just read an excellent article from Michael F. Bird, in response to Bart Ehrman’s latest book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee.

In response to Bart Ehrman, who went from evangelical Christianity to agnosticism, Mike Bird discusses his own journey from skepticism to faith in Jesus: “As a teenager, I wrote poetry mocking belief in God. My mother throw enough profanity at religious door knockers to make even a sailor blush…. Many years later, however, I read the New Testament for myself. The Jesus I encountered was far different from the deluded radical, even mythical character described to me” (full article…)

Then toward the end of the article, Mike Bird, who as a teenager wrote poems, mocking belief in God, employs St. Paul’s Philippian 3:4-10, to summarize his own journey from faith in skeptical scholarship to faith in Jesus:

Some have great confidence in skeptical scholarship, and I once did, perhaps more than anyone else. If anyone thinks they are assured in their unbelief, I was more committed: born of unbelieving parents, never baptized or dedicated; on scholarly credentials, a PhD from a secular university; as to zeal, mocking the church; as to ideological righteousness, totally radicalized. But whatever intellectual superiority I thought I had over Christians, I now count it as sheer ignorance. Indeed, I count everything in my former life as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing the historical Jesus who is also the risen Lord. For his sake, I have given up trying to be a hipster atheist. I consider that old chestnut pure filth, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a CV that will gain me tenure at an Ivy League school, but knowing that I’ve bound myself to Jesus—and where he is, there I shall also be.”

Michael F. Bird is lecturer in theology at Ridley College in Melbourne and coauthor of How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, a response to Bart Ehrman How Jesus Became God.  Mike blogs regularly at Euangelion.

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