Item description for Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament by Peter Enns...
Overview In this accessible study, Peter Enns offers an evangelical affirmation of biblical authority that considers questions raised by the nature of the Old Testament text. Enns looks at three questions raised by biblical scholars that seem to threaten traditional views of Scripture. First, he considers ancient Near Eastern literature that is similar to the Bible. Second, he looks at the theological diversity of the Old Testament. Finally, he considers how New Testament writers used the Old Testament. Based on his reflections on these contemporary issues, Enns proposes an incarnational model of biblical authority that takes seriously both the divine and human aspects of Scripture. The book includes a useful glossary, which defines technical terms and an annotated bibliography for further reading.
Publishers Description In this accessible study, Peter Enns offers an evangelical affirmation of biblical authority that considers questions raised by the nature of the Old Testament text. Enns looks at three questions raised by biblical scholars that seem to threaten traditional views of Scripture. First, he considers ancient Near Eastern literature that is similar to the Bible. Second, he looks at the theological diversity of the Old Testament. Finally, he considers how New Testament writers used the Old Testament. Based on his reflections on these contemporary issues, Enns proposes an incarnational model of biblical authority that takes seriously both the divine and human aspects of Scripture. The book includes a useful glossary, which defines technical terms and an annotated bibliography for further reading.
Citations And Professional Reviews Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament by Peter Enns has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Books & Culture - 05/01/2006 page 9
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Peter Enns (PhD, Harvard University) has served as an adjunct professor at Eastern University and Fuller Theological Seminary and previously taught at Westminster Theological Seminary for fourteen years. He is the author of Poetry and Wisdom, Exodus Retold, and Exodus (in the NIV Application Commentary series).
Peter Enns currently resides in Philadelphia. Peter Enns was born in 1961 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Eastern University.
Peter Enns has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament?
The Real God Honoring Approach to the Bible Jun 13, 2008
A great book which should be read by all teachable, honest and openminded consevative Christians. Makes the top 25 book list for me. (I am working on a Doctorate and have read many hundreds of books)This book is NOT for the faint of heart, nor for those who have an unwillingness to actually critic our inherited theological approach. IF honesty and a scholary approach are liberal then this book is liberal. BUT, if honesty and a scholary approach are God Honoring then this book is just that 'God Honoring'.Consider the following. God used the customs, the worldview, the culture, and the literature of the day to communicate his Word to a specific people. He used common literary forms or genres, like proverbs, poetry, narratives, hymns,etc to speak through. IF God has taken the many different kinds of literary genre and spoken through them, why could he NOT take the commonly used 'myth' and infuse it with new revelatory meaning. Should he be afraid to use this type of literature? If you read the book "Beyond the Firmament: Understanding Science and the Theology of Creation" first, then you will be better prepared to embrace Enns book.I am a lover of a great God, who offers a great salvation through his son, communicating this through an inspired book. Enns book will help you to sort out just what inspiration REALLY MEANS. God BLESS those with the courage to be teachable.
Throws out the baby with the bath water. May 29, 2008
I purchased and read Peter Enns' book in the buildup to the well- publicised controversy at WTS. Peter Enns intends his book to be a corrective for the intellectual bankruptcy in hermeneutics that is weakening evangelicalism like a cancer. There is some good in this book, and it seeks to tackle pressing issues in Old Testament hermeneutics in a rigorous and intellectually honest manner. My problem with this book is that in so doing, Enns crosses a line.
Enns' view of the inerrancy of scripture, based on my reading of this book, is far too amorphous for my comfort. This is illustrated most vividly when he discusses the creation account in Genesis. He compares the Genesis account to Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the Enuma Elish, and essentially says that in order to counter these creation myths, God composed a creation myth of his own, that contained counterpoints and correctives to those other myths, but was still itself a myth, and in more than merely its literary genre. Duane Garrett's Rethinking Genesis is a rigorous, challenging look at Genesis that does not cross this line, and D.A. Carson's Exegetical Fallacies addresses many of the same hermeneutical fallacies that are rampant across evangelicalism today, but without undermining the doctrine of inspiration.
Neo-Orthodox heresy that goes by the name of Evangelical and Reformed Apr 3, 2008
Peter Enns book Inspiration & Incarnation is as heretical as it is superficial. The view of inspiration espoused by Enns in this book is not much different from the old neo-orthodoxy of Karl Barth. Both of them speak much about Christ's human nature, myth, legend, midrash, contextualization, etc...but at the same time deny the sinless perfection of Christ's human nature, the factual events of redemptive history and also the perfection of Holy Scripture. Jesus said "Scripture cannot be broken." "Thy Word is truth." All Scripture is, like Christ, perfectly holy, spotless, undefiled, without sin and error, and separate from sinners. All Scripture is in Christ, for Christ, and to the glory of Christ. Christ is the Credenda and Agenda of Old Testament Scripture as well as New Testament Scripture. But for this very reason it cannot be broken. It is without error being God breathed. Peter Enn's views of the Bible are Liberal and heretical and destructive to the Christian church. I could think of at least ten instances (just by a casual overview without buying the accursed thing) in which he directly contradicts the explicit teaching of Scripture, as well as Jesus own words in the Gospels. He plainly does not believe in the Westminster Confession of Faith, nor for that matter in any of the Protestant Creeds and Confessions. He should have been fired long ago along with the feminists and Liberals of the Seminary. But then again, what can you expect from modern denominations these days - that are so full of spiritual ignorance, idolatry, sexual immorality and religious hypocrisy. They ought to read John Owen's book on Apostacy. Sadly denominations do not believe in Scripture or in their Confessions anymore. They have almost completely rejected the infallible word of God for the pagan idolatry of modern scholarship. Pastor Brett Woody
Well written and thought provoking Feb 1, 2008
This book will challenge all conservatives and evangelicals who read it. At the outset, Enns declairs that the conservative evangelical movement should not have agreed with the proposition that the Bible should look different than other books in antiquity if it is truly the Word of God. Why? Because, Enns argues, we have lost that battle. The liberal and critical scholors have indeed shown that the Bible is similar in style and structure to other antient works. They, therefore, dismiss it as uninspired, just another work of pre-scientific, myth believing, ancient man. We, the conservatives, are then left to try to explain away the mountains of evidence facing us.
What is Enns answer? In Christ, the Word made flesh, we hold to an incarnational theology. That is Christ who is 100% God came down to earth as a little baby and is, as a result, 100% man. As such we see both His divinity as well as His humanity, messy though it may be at times. Jesus looked like other Jews of His era. He spoke as they did; ate the same foods they did; was tempted as they were, and probably had a similar sandal size to other Jewish men of the time. Yet He was still God. Why can't we hold that the Bible, the Word of God in written form, is also, similarly incarnated? Being both 100% divine as well as 100% human, and, thus, looking somewhat similar to the other ancient works, yet retaining its divine nature?
I don't know if I can take Enns' analogy as far as he does. And, while the anaology solves certain conservative evangelical theological problems, it will undoubtedly raise many more. Still, this book should be read by all college and seminary students wishing to enter the ministry, as well as current pastors, and those wishing to engage the world around them in apologetic discourse. You may not agree with Enns fully, but you will not think the same way you did as before.
Worthwhile Conversation Piece Nov 18, 2007
When I first read this book I was a little disappointed because it seemed he hadn't really committed to writing it. The examples are all relevant, but he doesn't do as much analysis as I thought he needed and, worse, he didn't pick a lot of the examples that I thought would be even better (though probably less accessible). More importantly, he doesn't draw a lot of conclusions and may come off a bit wishy-washy.
But then I looked back at some of the notes I had taken, and figured out that I read the first few pages at 3 in the morning a few weeks before I read the rest of the book. The point of this book is not really to say much of anything. Instead, the point of this book is to get conversations going. Enns is basically pointing out that many of evangelicals' dearest commitments regarding Scripture are based in a strongly modernist worldview and then begging us to try to rethink Scripture in a non-modernist way. My original criticisms were based on the view that Enns was giving a bunch of answers, but he's just trying to get conversation going.
Well-written, says just enough to make his point, and offers a message that needs to be heard. Too many Christians are erroneously clinging to modernism, and we need to stop. What if the Bible doesn't fit in rationalistic boxes? What if the category of mystery finds its way back into our theological language? What if we're committed to a God and therefore a Bible that is more an abstract principle than a person, that would be at home in Platonic heaven but can't be sullied by the earthiness of real life? Let's start asking these questions.