the subtle scholarly unbelief

I’ve given up on a commentary. I am one willing to read the works of quite a range of authors, but I get so fed up with the scholarly evangelicals and the subtle way they cast doubts on inspiration. Give me an honest liberal any day, they are worth far more than the "perhaps" and "maybe-so" crowd.

The commentator in question is Tom Schreiner, and the commentary his fairly hefty tome on Romans. He is big on letting you know he has read all the opinions out there. Why do we need to wade through all that verbiage? Put it in the footnotes if you must. And then all the tentative, hesitant conclusions. Give me a man’s commentator, like Charles Hodge, or William R. Newell. There are a few other excellent ones out there also, like Herman Hoyt’s little jewel on Romans.

But the thing that made me put Schreiner on the shelf was a footnote on Rm 3.4, where Paul quotes Ps 51. The footnote says something to this effect: "It doesn’t matter whether David was actually the author of Ps 51 or not." What??? Do we need this???

So I’ve put him on the shelf. I don’t care if I never open him again.



  1. Rory Johnson says:

    I concur with you on this matter, Dad. I just finished skimming Schreiner’s commentary on 1, 2 Peter, and Jude in the NAC.

    I was working on project for a class where we evaluated the arguments for and against Petrine authorship of 2 Peter.

    Schreiner made me sick as well. He lauds men, who in their conclusions, are approaching heresy; and then in his own conclusions sides with the conservative side.

    The man Schreiner lifts up this time is R. Bauckham. Schreiner speaks of “outstanding commentary” in which Bauckham concludes that 2 Peter “belongs to the testament genre” and is (quoting Bauckham) “‘transparent fiction'”. Basically, Bauckham believes 2 Peter was written pseudonymously but the readers would know that Peter did not write that epistle.

    Of course the problem with this view is the fact that the epistle begins by claiming to be “Simon Peter” who is the apostle of Jesus Christ who personally saw the transfigured Christ. If this was written pseudonymously then the author was INSPIRED to write something that is by nature deceptive. God is not the author of confusion and would not have inspired deception nor would approve of that methodology.

    If Bauckham’s views could be proven correct, Bauckham is actually proving the Bible to be un-inspired and therefore errant. This man is preaching heresy.

    Schreiner (I am tempted to call him “a rat”) says “It should be said at the outset that Bauckham’s view is possible.” (NAC, 274) Schreiner then casts doubt on whether or not Bauckham’s view is conclusive and then gives his own opinion of the matter: “We [Schreiner and all his friends on the conservative side] conclude that 2 Peter is authentic and that such a conclusion is more persuasive than competing theories.” (NAC, 276)

    While Schreiner gives a little relief by finally siding with the conservative side, he has no idea how close to heresy his exaltation of false teachers has gone.

    I agree, Schreiner isn’t worth your time…unless you want to get fired up for the truth, that is!

    • Very good, buddy, that is exactly the kind of thing I dislike in the modern commentaries. This is scholarship?

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3