After reading a particular blog post I spent my day soaking in the Scriptures and in sermons. Some truths need to be said and they need to be said with gospel grace. I’ve spent so many years under the rock of self–righteous gospel amnesia I’ve forgotten what it is like to “fight” for the inerrancy of Scripture. I’ve spent so many years straining gnats I’ve forgotten how to contend for the faith in grace, love and truth. I know I’m late to the party, but I’m moved to respond. Forgive me the clumsy attempt.
Dr. Peter Enns has a Ph.D. and I don’t. Dr. Peter Enns knows Greek and Hebrew and I don’t. Dr. Peter Enns is a biblical scholar and I am not. In spite of my limitation, I would like to interact with what he posted on his blog yesterday. Dr. Enns used some comments from Pastor Tim Keller to throw out these two questions to his readers:
This raises two questions: “What’s wrong with some disassembling?” and “Why does disassembling have to be tied to having or not having faith?”
The disassembling question concerned the Bible. He was asking his readers to consider two things: disassembling the “traditional” way of reading Scripture (i.e. as inerrant), and divorcing how we read the Bible from faith. Enns is suggesting that we do not need to believe in the inerrancy of Scripture to have faith in Jesus. Furthermore, he urges, in today’s culture, we would do well to let go of the evangelical tradition of seeing the Bible as inerrant. From what I gathered, part of his problem with inerrancy is that it necessitates believing in a historical Adam. My understanding is that Dr. Enns does not believe in a historical Adam. I hope I have understood and accurately portrayed his position.
I noticed many of the commenters talking about disassembling the inerrancy, historicity, and the authority of Scripture while still coming out with a faith in Jesus. I’m left scratching my head. If you do not believe in the historicity of the Bible, or the inerrancy of Scripture, or the authority of the Word of God, how and why would you believe in Jesus? If I didn’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture I wouldn’t waste my time on Jesus for one minute. I of all people want to see Christians loving the Lord their God with all their mind. If people believe they have to commit intellectual suicide to believe in Christ, then the Church needs to take a long hard look at what its doing. But this is not the answer. If you tell the culture that you don’t have to believe in the inerrancy and authority of Scriptures (which testifies of Jesus Christ) in order to have “faith” in Jesus Christ, how are you leading them to the true Jesus who said he was “the way, the truth, and the life?”
I admit I have not read Dr. Enns book Inspiration and Incarnation, but I would like to. I want to know why Dr. Enns has rejected the historicity of Adam and the inerrancy of Scripture. I don’t mean this in a sacrastic way at all, but I don’t know what to think of theologians who read some science and believe in order to make things “work,” some part of God’s Word has to be compromised. My husband and I are physicists and although we have lamented a certain anti–intellectual culture in evangelicalism, we do not believe that holding to the laws of physics (quantum or classical) requires us to compromise the Scriptures in such a way.
I was listening to an interview with Vern Poythress a couple of weeks ago. What we both see in Dr. Poythress is an example of a scientist/mathematician who can think with rigor but submits all fields of knowledge (including science) to Almighty God. In reality, if you believe that God exists and that he is who he says he is and he did what he said he did, then all knowledge and understanding, including the sciences, are a beautiful reality because God is God.
Again, forgive the clumsy attempt as I try to process this movement that seeks to re–define/re–think Christianity. Maybe I’m a pragmatist, but if you gut the Scriptures, there’s nothing left worth “believing” in. In which case, I would rather stand with Bertrand Russell than a “have it your way” Christianity.