Academia is a business of argumentation. We are trained to falsify our own assumptions to varying degrees of success. We are also trained to appraise the strengths and weaknesses of our colleagues' arguments with varying degrees of honesty. The byproduct of such a state of affairs is that almost no professional scholar can agree with a colleague 100% of the time. This is a happy byproduct.
It just so happens that we spend most of our time focusing on the 5 to 10% that makes for good debate. (By the way, keep this in mind the next time that someone laments that there is a different "historical Jesus" for every historical Jesus scholar. In my view, most of us agree much more than we disagree.) This is why Tom Wright and Marcus Borg could tour the world for a decade with their Siegfried and Roy act.
So I am quite happy to say that I agree with about 80% of what Bart Ehrman writes. This statement will scandalize some demographics and seem par for the course to others (no surprise there). Some folks are going to think that 80% is too high a percentage as I am a professing believer and Prof. Ehrman is a dreaded heretic.
Well, let me qualify this number by explaining that it gets worse: not all of the remaining 20% is disagreement. As I am not a textual critic, I am simply not qualified to have an opinion about some of Ehrman's research. So there is really only about 10% of his conclusions where I (1) am qualified to take an opposite stance and (2) do indeed take an opposite stance. I should qualify this further by saying that I have not read everything that Ehrman has published (who can keep up?).
I thank God for Bart Ehrman because he is good at what he does. This, of course, includes marketing himself and his ideas. I am grateful that his influence in the general public sets the talking points along the lines of sanity. I am grateful that he exemplifies good argumentation. To me, this is much more important than his conclusions.
For what it's worth, this blog post could just have easily have been titled "Why I thank God for Tom Wright". There are some academics who are always going to hate both of these guys because they've pursued a popular audience. (One also wonders about professional jealousy.) Say what you will of C.S. Lewis or Bertrand Russell, but these guys teach an otherwise unreachable group of students and set the tone of a needed conversation. Without the Bart Ehrmans and Tom Wrights, most of the the interested public would be living in an echo chamber filled only with the voices of Simcha Jacobovici and Lee Strobel.