Sunday, July 05, 2015

The faith of Israel

To my knowledge, Peter Enns rejects the historicity of most OT narratives. And he accuses inerrantists of imposing an artificial standard on Scripture.

One strategy some liberals use to rationalize their position is to claim that Bible writers never intended to write factual accounts in the first place. Inerrantists who read the Bible that way have never studied hermeneutics. We are operating with an Enlightenment epistemology. 

One problem with that contention is historical Psalms, viz. 74, 78, 105, 106, 135, 136. It's essential to the Psalmist that God really did the things ascribed to him in earlier historical narratives. The Psalmist believes that happened, and that supplies a necessary precedent for his argument. Is God faithful? Will he act in the future as he acted in the past? Will he protect his people? Will he deliver his people? Will he continue to act on their behalf? The record and reality of his past actions is an indispensable presupposition of the Psalmist's argument.

Scholars like Enns can, of course, reject the Psalmist's viewpoint. But in so doing, they disassociate themselves from the faith of Israel. To the degree that scholars like Enns retain any religious outlook at all, it's completely foreign to the faith of God's historic people. 

Enns is very condescending towards Bible-believing Christians, but his own position is an ad hoc intellectual compromise that isn't consistently secular or consistently Christian. It's mostly secular, with some residual theology. Although he has contempt for Bible-believing Christians, secular philosophers would have contempt for his incoherent attempt to split the difference.  

1 comment:

  1. Dillatantes like Enns are scorned by traditional scientism, and scorned by actual believers, so the only people drawn to their alchemy are other alchemists.