Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Exit

Peter Enns is busy “rethinking biblical Christianity.” He's cast himself in the thankless role of the noble reformer. The brave, persecuted outcast. He must combat the forces of “fear.”

But other issues aside, what does his alternative amount to? Given his current view of Scripture, why does he continue to write commentaries on the Bible? Why does he continue to edit reference books on the Bible?

Given his current view of Scripture, what’s so special about the Bible? Why not write commentaries on 1 Enoch, the gnostic gospels, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Enuma Elish, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Argonautica, the Sibylline Oracles, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, or Ovid’s Metamorphosis?

Or take predictive prophecy. I assume Enns views many or most (maybe all) ostensible Bible prophecies as postdictions rather than predictions. For instance, I assume he views the oracles of Daniel as vaticinia ex eventu.

If so, the problem with that interpretation is that it amounts to a secularizing interpretation of Bible prophecy. The universe as a closed-system, without genuine divine revelation.

I’m reminded of Francis Schaffer’s illustration of men in a dark room, trying to find the way out. Because it’s dark, they can’t see the door. So they walk along the four sides of the room, groping for the doorknob. Around and around they go, trying to find the door by feel. After they do this a few times, they realize, to their horror, that there is no door. They are trapped. The room is all there is. They are stuck there. They will die there. Like a rat in a Skinnerbox. 

They thought they were inside a room, but they’re not inside, because there is no outside. That’s it. No one else. Nowhere else.

Peter Enns prides himself on pushing the envelope, but he doesn’t push far enough. This is where you logically wind up.

That, itself, doesn’t prove him wrong. But we need to be clear on the consequences.  

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