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By Geoff Holsclaw, a pastor-theologian. Get his free How Did We Get the Bible?
A Bad Reviewer?
Cards - Pastor - Profession - Positions - Someone
Cards on the table: I’m a pastor and a theologian by profession. I occupy two positions that make me suspicious to someone like Peter Enns, especially when reviewing a book. Not withstanding the gracious host of Jesus Creed, but many biblical scholars get antsy around pastors and theologians.
Pastors and theologians are perceived to have an agenda when it comes to the Bible. They have a party line promote, a system to fortify, an ax to grind. Pastors and theologians are thought to stretch, bend, or bury the truth of the Bible in order to keep their systems and churches in order.
Scholars - Everyone - Bible - Scholars - Position
But biblical scholars just want everyone to read the Bible and be honest about what they find. Biblical scholars position themselves as more truthful and less biased than pastors and theologians.
And to an extent this is true, unfortunately.
Too - People - Bible - People
But I’m all for reading the Bible! Too many people just don’t know what’s in the Bible, and are then scandalized when people start showing them what’s really there.
Surprise! There really are tensions and contradictions, there really are acts of violence and ancient cosmologies. And when pop culture Christian leaders find this out they lose their faith (see Joshua Harris or Marty Sampson) and act like no one has noticed this before, that no one is talking about, that everyone is either a fool or a liar—everyone but them.
Hello - Church - Difficulties - Presents - Years
Hello! The Church has noticed the difficulties the Bible presents and has been writing about them for like 1850 years. Enns is not the first to call attention to the sprawling, rambling, and tension filled aspects of the Bible (I know he knows this, but some of his readers might not, and he doesn’t tell them).
Augustine hated the Bible at...
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