Thursday, April 05, 2012

Lost in space

That God does not hesitate to participate in the human drama, to encounter humanity within the limits of the human experience. That means that biblical writers wrote about the God they encountered as they understood him within their cultural limitations.

There’s a fundamental tension in Peter Enns’ argument. Up-to-a-point there’s nothing wrong with a doctrine of divine accommodation. When orthodox theologians identify anthroporphisms in Scripture, that’s an instance of divine accommodation.

However, divine accommodation presumes a distinction between what God is like in himself, and how God reveals himself to us. Between what God is really like, and his self-accommodation.

But if the God of Scripture is completely filtered through the cultural limitations of Bible writers, then Enns has no standard of comparison. Why does he still think God’s self-revelation in Scripture is accommodated to human understanding? Why not think God really is limited? Indeed, why continue to think what we have in Scripture is the record of God’s self-accommodation, rather than a record of man’s primitive religious projection? Why does Enns think Yahweh is different than Marduk or Dagon or Baal? Why think Yahweh is real while they are mythical? Would it not be more consistent to treat the entire package as imaginary? 

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