Losing Faith: How Scholarship Affects Scholars

See the Biblical Archaeological Review's Losing Faith: How Scholarship Affects Scholars. Both Bart Erhman and William Dever are interviewed, along with two others who remain believers. Erhman lost his faith because of the problem of evil. William Dever expressed himself in these words: I’m not an atheist. I’m an agnostic. I don’t know but I’m willing to learn. Right now the Christian tradition does nothing for me and the Orthodox Jewish tradition does little for me. In my own experience, I find this God so distant that it doesn’t make any practical difference. And, for me, I guess the final straw probably was the death of my son five years ago. If I had believed in God, I would have been very angry, but I didn’t and I survived. As the Yiddish expression says: “If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.” That’s been my experience.

They both claim they would still like to believe. They just cannot do it.