A Note From Our Editor: “How Disingenuous Can A Theologian Be?” -- By: John Warwick Montgomery

Journal: Global Journal of Classical Theology
Volume: GJCT 14:1 (May 2017)
Article: A Note From Our Editor: “How Disingenuous Can A Theologian Be?”
Author: John Warwick Montgomery

A Note From Our Editor: “How Disingenuous Can A Theologian Be?”

John Warwick Montgomery

This issue of the Global Journal features your editor’s presentation at the historic Kloha-Montgomery debate at Concordia University Chicago on 15 October 2016. There Dr Montgomery dealt with the implications of textual criticism for biblical inerrancy—and the dangers of Dr Kloha’s approach to it. This issue will include the complete texts of Dr Montgomery’s debate presentation and rebuttal to Dr Kloha, together with a detailed review of the debate by the Revd Jack Cassione. Unfortunately, Dr Kloha has refused to allow third parties to publish his presentation as a whole or in part, but we understand that his material can be obtained from the Concordia Seminary, St Louis, where he teaches.

Shortly after the debate, one of Professor Kloha’s seminary colleagues defended him in a blog in the following terms: “Kloha is not disingenuous or contradictory. He simply does not need to detail every step of his work to those in his field in the same way that he does for the person who does not work in that field.”

I replied: Pace Professor Herrmann, this is not a matter of Kloha’s simplifying for Lutherans the views he has espoused in a more technical manner in European scholarly Festschriften. There, before audiences of non-confessional academics, Kloha presents views incompatible with biblical stability and reliability – and then avoids saying the same thing to the Christian laity in his own church body. Egregious example: he argues, on the basis of poor MS sources and thoroughgoing eclecticism’s principle of choosing variant readings according to subjective, literary fit, that Elizabeth and not Mary spoke the Magnificat. Then, teaching in church on the very same Lucan passage, he never even refers to the question – giving his audience the obvious message that he goes along with the Marian reading as do all the standard translations based on solid Greek texts. This is simply dishonest. If that is the kind of scholarship and churchmanship practiced at the Concordia Seminary, St Louis, I tremble for the future of the LCMS.

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