Christianity Today reports:
Two of the hottest issues in evangelical theology right now are the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament and evangelical textual criticism. Peter Enns’s 2005 book, Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, aimed to pose difficult questions about the human aspects of Scripture. It received both praise and criticism from noted evangelical scholars.
And it made things difficult for Enns at his school, Philadelphia’s Westminster Theological Seminary. A battle over whether the book undermined or contradicted the Westminster Confession of Faith has been raging for some time now, and apparently came to a head Wednesday at the meeting of the school’s board, which decided to suspend Enns (at the close of the school year).
Trevin Wax summarizes the controversy nicely:
- Enns has been criticized for emphasizing the human nature of Scripture over against the divine.
- Enns has written that the first chapters of Genesis are firmly grounded in ancient myth, which he defines as “an ancient, premodern, prescientific way of addressing questions of ultimate origins in the form of stories.”
- Enns claims that Scripture is inspired and inerrant, however the way he describes Scripture seems to counter that belief.
- Enns does not seek to harmonize seemingly-contradictory parts of Scripture because he believes the diversity of Scripture is complementary.
- Enns rejects the idea of objective unbiased historiography.
It is very unfortunate whenever any seminary faculty member is suspended or dismissed on theological grounds. Do pray for Westminster Theological Seminary (students, faculty, Board of Trustees, and families) as they go through this controversial time. May we all examine ourselves and our own theology first, and read carefully about what is actually being debated, before pointing any fingers.