I have been mulling over a question for some years now, and this little excerpt from a self-published book makes me ask it again: what sin lies at the heart of being just flat wrong about some aspect of theology?
What is the origin of the spirit that finds immoral conspiracies in the Chronicles of Narnia and writes a liberally underlined!!! and (inevitably) “exhaustively researched” screed about it?
What sin lies at the heart of a King James Only crusader who feels he has to turn Westcott and Hort into demons and the King James translators into super-apostles?
What sin leads an educated man to make preposterous claims? Here’s the boast Peshitta translator George Lamsa made for himself (taken from an article by Edwin Yamauchi in BibSac, 131):
Moreover, the author was educated under the care of learned priests of the Church of the East who knew no other language but Aramaic, and highly educated Englishmen, graduates of Oxford, Cambridge and other famous English schools. The author, through God’s grace, is the only one with the knowledge of Aramaic, the Bible customs and idioms, and the knowledge of the English language who has ever translated the Holy Bible from the original Aramaic texts into English and written commentaries on it, and his translation is now in pleasingly wide use.
As Yamauchi comments, Lamsa is basically claiming a lock on the truth!
There’s a similarity running through all of the examples I’ve cited, a recognizable voice in their writings. But what is it?
I have long posited anti-intellectualism as the culprit, but somehow I don’t feel that’s enough–especially considering that some people get a lot of education and still come out with pseudoscientific views. A respected teacher of mine said in an e-mail that the culprit was the “urge to cling to the known at all costs.”
What do you think?