blue bits. red rocks.


I haven’t read Kevin’s [DeYoung] book, so I can’t comment on it directly. I am familiar, though, with Kevin’s understanding of the nature of Scripture and his defense of it from his blog. I would surmise that Kevin’s defense of scripture parallels that of others who agree with him. The crux of my disagreement with him would be that the Bible he is defending is not really the Bible so much as it is a defense of a particular brand of inerrantist dogmatic theology that is I feel is foreign to the Bible. Equating that theology with the Bible itself runs into well known problems, and thus leads to the steady stream of books, essays, and even whole encyclopedias offering “defenses” of the Bible. This is geared toward protecting a dogmatic theology and the Bible as some would like it to be, but it actually gets in the way of understanding the Bible we have. Peter Enns

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And the “canon” of Scripture was historically not a list of authoritative books, but a list of those works commonly read in the Churches. It is, something of a catalog of the lectionary. What we actually find in the Fathers is not the later proof-texting from an authoritative text, the Master Book of All Knowledge, if you will, but a use of quotes that seemed at hand and most useful for whatever topic was being treated. There are, to be sure, careful expository writings, such as those of St. John Chrysostom and others, but these are what they are: expositions of various writings. When the Church turned to the central core doctrines of the Faith, such as the Trinity, the natures and Person of Christ, the character of salvation, etc., arguments were far more wide-open and non-expository. Reason and language played as much of a role as Scripture itself. The words homoousios, hypostasis and ousia that play such completely central roles in the foundational doctrines of the Trinity and Christology are not given meanings drawn from Scripture, but from arguments that incorporate Scripture and every possible tool. The Church is not a Bible-based teaching institution – the Church is the Pillar and Ground of Truth, the Body of Christ, divinely given by God for our salvation and it uses the Scriptures and everything that exists for the purpose of expounding the truth it has received from God from the very beginning. There Is No “Bible” in the Bible

To the Spaniards, the ‘Indians’ were simply their contemporary version of Canaanites. The first Europeans to settle North America also tended to see it as their Promised Land and the local Native American population as Canaanites who had no divine right to the land, and their fate was similar … You don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to figure this one out. Christians, taking the Bible as a how-to book, have killed pagans, taken their land, and rejoiced in God’s goodness. I mean, if it’s in the Bible, it can’t be bad, right? RIGHT? Peter Enns

It is in the narratives and the psalms. Beginning with the Exodus narrative and the Elijah narrative and the Jesus narrative, they are all storied about public transformation that happened by courage of uncredentialed people. These kinds of narratives feed our imagination and give us energy and courage. As the civil rights movement of the 1960s and ‘70s understood, singing is a way to keep your nerve. If you think about the Song of Miriam or those dangerous songs (many of which are in the mouths of women) we are invited to join that kind of singing which is a refusal to accept the dominant definitions of reality. Such singing and storytelling is an insistence that there is another way to experience the world and there is another way to act in the world. These are very important models and authorizations for us. Walter Brueggemann

Simple appeals to ‘what the Bible says’ are always the sign of (no doubt unconscious) subservience to an interpretive tradition, not liberation from it. That which we mistakenly think we have escaped from is in reality free to exercise all the more influence over us, and is therefore all the more potentially dangerous. Trevor Hart

After the great flood, which killed every living creature not on the ark, and Noah and his family de-arks, Noah plants the first vineyard, makes wine, and gets drunk (maybe he needed to unwind). Like a college freshman, he collapses naked inside his tent in a drunken coma. His youngest son, Ham, enters the tent, sees him lying there, and goes out to tell his brothers, Shem and Japheth. Rather than gawking, the two brothers walk backward into the tent and cover their father with a garment. It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on here, but, apparently, the two brothers handle the situation correctly whereas Ham doesn’t. So, when Noah wakes up, he does what any normal father would do when faced with the same dilemma—he curses Ham’s descendants forever. Peter Enns

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Seeing the Bible as a source of binding information for all matters touching on our faith and accessible by exegesis runs into well known recurring problems—namely Christians rarely agree on a lot of things about how the Bible is to be understood and listened too, which bring us back to the “paper pope” or “constitution” metaphor. The Bible is too diverse to function that way. What sounds like a good idea in the abstract becomes a problem when you actually start going to the Bible to provide answers to all our questions. In a word, you find that the Bible has to be interpreted. And if the history of Christians and Jewish interpretation of the Bible has shown us anything, it is that interpretation and the interpreter’s context can never be severed. We read Scripture from our own cultural vantage point, much of which is below the level of the surface of the conscious mind. Peter Enns

…no human reader of scripture utterly escapes the influence of history and culture; perhaps denying their impact serves only to strengthen their grip. History and culture matter, not only in the ancient production of the scriptures but also in the modern appropriation of scripture. Monte Harrell Hampton

Writing about the past was never simply about understanding the past for its own sake, but about shaping, molding, and creating the past to speak to the present. The Bible presents a variety of points of view about God and what it means to walk in his ways. This stands to reason, since the biblical writers and lived at different times, in different places, and wrote for different reasons. Peter Enns

Whoever, then, thinks that [they] understand the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbor, does not yet understand them as [they] ought. St. Augustine

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What fueled one man after another to split up the church? What made each group think they had the corner on truth and all others had erred? The answer is simple: The Bible. Does Personal Bible Reading Destroy the Church? (Paul Penley)

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It is Jesus that gives the scriptures meaning (for Christians) in the first place. on being a mouthpiece of satan

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