By Mark Traphagen on April 13, 2011
This blog hasn’t been about theology or religion for some time now, but I do want to give a shout out to IandIBook.com, the new official site of the book Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament by Peter Enns.
Dr. Enns was one of my Old Testament professors at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and has since become a very close friend. Inspiration and Incarnation is his attempt to grapple honestly with the difficulties that a detailed study of the backgrounds of the Christian Old Testament presents for Evangelical theology. Enns was not the first to notice the three areas of difficulty he covers in the book–competing theologies within the OT, similarities to other ancient Near Eastern religious texts, and the odd ways the New Testament writers interpreted the Old Testament texts–but he sets forth a unique proposition to try to preserve a belief in the OT’s divine inspiration. In a nutshell, he proposes that in a way analogous to the Christian teaching that Jesus of Nazareth was both God and man at the same time, the Bible we have is at the same time very human in its production but divine in its origin. In other words, Enns thinks that God is perfectly fine with what appears to us to be a “messy” scripture; that He was comfortable with giving his revelation to his creatures in and through the limitations and world experiences of the ancient cultures who first compiled and wrote it down.
If you have any interest in such issues, Inspiration and Incarnation is essential reading. It is written at a level easily understood by any educated lay person.