Friday, April 06, 2012

Was "God with us"?

peteenns says:
April 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Robert, I am saying that the incarnation has serious implications for how we address a lot of issues of biblical interpretation, Adam being one of them. When people affirm the necessity of a historical Adam for the existence of the Gospel by asserting that God would not mislead us by allowing ANE conventions to shape that story, I think they are selling the Gospel short. You can certainly believe in a historical Adam if you want to, but I would still challenge you to think why that might be the case, what is motivating you theologically to come to that conclusion. The rhetoric “without a historical Adam we lose the Gospel” is something I hearing far too much of these days, and my view is that behind it is a discomfort with “God with us.”

peteenns says:
April 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm
Alan, I agree with you. My point is actually much more modest, despite the intentional rhetoric I used: a view of the Christian God that has trouble with him allowing culturally conditioned ways of thinking to shape Scripture is not the God of that we read about in the Bible.

Once again, this illustrates a fundamental tension in Enns’ argument. He appeals to the incarnation as a paradigm-case of God accommodating himself to our cultural limitations. But that’s self-defeating. For if the message of Scripture is filtered through obsolete cultural conventions, then the Incarnation itself may just as well be a culturebound convention. Why does he think God really became Incarnate? Why not assume Bible stories about “God with us” are mythical reflections of the ancient narrator’s primitive, prescientific outlook? Why does Enns continue to think there’s a real God behind the story? Why not treat the Bible just like the Enuma Elish or the Epic of Gilgamesh? 

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