How long something lasts doesn't demonstrate the truth of that thing. As far as scholarship historians have been demonstrating the Bible is religious fiction and their work is growing. In the past it was too heretical but now that the church has no hold on free speech it's going nowhere. Thomas Thompson was one of the first archaeologists in the 70's to demonstrate that Moses and the Patriarchs were literary creations. He had to go to Canada to get a job using his PhD. Now his work is considered standard in the field. The vast majority of biblical historians believe the Bible is the same as all other holy books, mythology. That field is growing as is the popularity of the authors like Carrier, Ehrman, Pagels, and so on.What you say is hardly news to me.
Yes, there are some writers who are saying what secular society wants to hear and they made good money from it. We have seen people like that come and go throughout history. They offer very little that is lasting.
And yes atheist authors like Sam Harris and Hitchens are growing more and more popular.
What they offer is truth. As usual, myself and most non-theists are still waiting for good evidence that shows they are wrong.
But this is a typical religions response, to not deal with actual issues, facts or make a rational argument. Just call them "useless" and wave them away. This also does not make your position true.
Aquinas was a Catholic philosopher. I once read some of his work and found it hard to understand.
I think you do not fully understand academic scholarship.
What you fail to mention are the many thousands of Christian scholars. That indicates tunnel vision.
The only tunnel vision here is yours in making these weird assumptions. Of course there are Christian theologians? Theologians start out with the ASSUMPTION that the scripture they are studying is actually true. They do not look at comparative religion, religious syncretism, they NEVER admit all of the theology was found in earlier religions, they do not study literary analysis to see if the author uses mythical literary devices, improbabilities and other markers of myth, they never notice the NT is simply re-writing OT stories and many other aspects that historians DO bother to study.
The easiest comparison is to simply point out there are also hundreds of Islamic PhD theologians who will all confirm that the Quran is the true word of Allah and the only true word of God available to mankind. Hindu theologians will also tell you Vishnu is the supreme creator of the universe or other sects will tell you Brahman is the ultimate reality and source of all.
None of those scholars statements mean Islam or Hinduism is actually true. It's no different for Christian theologians. Historical scholars and archaeologists will present a much more realistic picture of what is happening because they do not assume something is true. They just look at what evidence is available and work from that.
And there is no good evidence that any of those religions are true.
As for me, I am orthodox Reformed in the tradition of Zwingli, Knox, Calvin, and Luther. I still believe it is the purest theology. Christian scholarship is as vibrant as ever.
That doesn't make sense because Calvin expands themes that Agustine developed? He's also just a theologian. One of his main beliefs is you learn God by studying scripture. The most bias thing a person could ever say? HE doesn't demonstrate scripture is true? He doesn't explain why they used Greek/Persian theology and savior demigod myths and why it would be true this time around? He doesn't look at evidence? Just like the Islamic theologians they simply assert their religion is true and actual words from a deity. Yet the stories are re-worked from older religions and the way people speak about God and the way God is portrayed is exactly how it's been done since the very first words written by Edheuanna on her God Inana in Sumeria.
There is nothing "pure" about taking a mythology and asserting it's from a deity. I'm sure when Islamic theologians do it with the Quran you have zero interest in just believing a story, just because one needs to believe in something. Yet billions of Muslims do just that and they find your theology absurd. You cannot both be correct but you can both be wrong.
Christian scholarship may be vibrant but they cannot demonstrate the truth in any of it.