Baker Academic

Friday, April 25, 2014

Daniel Kirk on Bart and Bird

Over at Storied Theology, Daniel Kirk offers one of the most entertaining reviews these ole eyes have ever seen. I have not yet picked up Bart Ehrman's latest book and so it will be a while before I get around to reading the Mike Bird apologetic. I'll admit that I am not immune to schadenfreude. Not proud of it, but here we are. I enjoy this review in its own right. Daniel Kirk is a great reviewer; an art I've never mastered. But I think that I can abandon any karmic scruples in this particular case because I know that Mike will take it in stride. Some folks would be devastated by a review this devastating - not Mike Bird. Mike will yawn, scratch himself, and write another book. My guess is that Mike was expecting a few reviews like this.

My favorite line - one that will stay with me for a long while - from Kirk is:
In short, my assessment is that an evangelicalism that has Ehrman as its chief foe is in better shape than an evangelicalism that has Bird as its great champion.

Kirk follows this with:
A part of me wants to apologize to Bird for this, perhaps the most negative review I have ever written, but in truth I feel that he owes an apology to the rest of us–to we who consider ourselves evangelicals and are about the difficult business of engaging critical and historical scholarship for the sake of the church, and perhaps most especially to the other contributors to this volume.

J. R. Daniel Kirk, remind me never to tug on your cape.



  1. In light of your comments about how entertaining the review was I was hoping for some mild amusement even though I might not agree in substance. Alas, Kirk came off as a bit of an a-hole, in my estimation. Perhaps it's just different styles of humor. Bird has responded to Kirk's review here:

    1. What do you make of Dr Bird's comparison of a well known pop star (= Dr Kirk) and the New York (City) Ballet (= Dr Bird)?