When I first heard that Westminster Seminary had suspended Peter Enns I honestly can say I had no idea what the trouble was. Then I read some of the things people were saying on either side of that school’s community and I thought, “Wow, this is…weird.” So I did what anyone wanting more information on a controversial book does, I ordered the book – in this case from the same seminary that suspended the author. Even though I already have a pile of reading that is threatening to start composting, I decided that I needed to get into this book right away since Westminster is a school I grew up literally down the street from, went to for one year, and which is connected to a good many of my friends. So, after getting into the book some ways let me give you my initial thoughts:
Despite the “Baker Academic” tag – this isn’t a book written for “academics” (the use of BC/AD is a dead giveaway there). Rather, as far as I can tell, this book is meant as a primer for either undergrad students or first semester seminarians who have never studied the Bible in an academic setting before. This isn’t a bad thing, far from it, in fact. Just don’t let the “Baker Academic” publishing stamp turn you off if you’re a lay-person – the writing is readily accessible.
The book’s approach of looking at the Scripture through an incarnational lense seems to me to be consistent with the dual authorship understanding of Scripture which I’ve been taught since high school. The material is also designed to ask probing question regarding the authority and reliability of Scripture – yet he manages to deal with these questions that end up encouraging the reader (without resorting to pat answers).
- I still fail to see what the problem is.