CT‘s interview with Anne Rice is a fascinating read. I have to say that I am astonished to discover how much she enjoys reading conservative, Protestant interpreters of scripture. She lists D. A. Carson, Craig Keener, and N. T. Wright among her favorites, and says, “Of all the people I’ve read over the years, it’s their work that I keep on my desk.” Here’s a piece of the relevant exchange:
CT: Are there any other religious authors you read?
Rice: I read theology and biblical scholarship all the time. I love the biblical scholarship of D.A. Carson. I very much love Craig S. Keener. His books on Matthew and John are right here on my desk all the time. I go to Craig Keener for answers because his commentary on Scripture is so thorough. I still read N.T. Wright. I love the Catholic theologian Karl Rahner. I love his writing on Jesus Christ. It’s very beautiful to me, and I study a little bit of it every day. Of course, I love Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.
CT: You mentioned D.A. Carson, Craig Keener, and N.T. Wright. They are fairly conservative Protestants.
Rice: Sometimes the most conservative people are the most biblically and scholastically sound. They have studied Scripture and have studied skeptical scholarship. They make brilliant arguments for the way something in the Bible reads and how it’s been interpreted. I don’t go to them necessarily to know more about their personal beliefs. It’s the brilliance they bring to bear on the text that appeals to me. Of all the people I’ve read over the years, it’s their work that I keep on my desk. They’re all non-Catholics, but they’re believers, they document their books well, they write well, they’re scrupulously honest as scholars, and they don’t have a bias. Many of the skeptical non-believer biblical scholars have a terrible bias. To them, Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, so there’s no point in discussing it. I want someone to approach the text and tell me what it says, how the language worked.
God works through His word to transform people (John 17:17; 1 Thes 2:13), and this is all the more reason to be hopeful about Rice. If she is as committed to reading the Bible as she indicates here, who knows what the next stop on her spiritual journey may be?