Peter Enns – The Hardest Thing for Me about What I Do

The confession below is about sincerity and integrity. I share it here because I feel exactly the same way. For a ‘social animal’ like me, loosing friends is never easy. Yet, I am not ready to sacrifice my conscience even in order to keep a friendship. I may be wrong on what I believe – I have been proven wrong before. 😦 That is why, some day I am going to write something titled ‘How I Changed My Mind’).

Yet, until I have enough evidence to change my mind, I have to be true to what I believe. And, of course, I will express those convictions in imperfect ways, in line with my temperament, my level of (im)maturity and my ethnic makeup. I hope my friends can live with that. But if they cannot, I can’t do anything about it.

As Scripture says, let us walk together in the things we think alike, and may the Holy Spirit enlighten us in the rest. I can live with that. Can you?
And now, here is what Pete Enns has to say about it.

** * *

OK, this is going to be a little personal, but you don’t have to read it.

In case you haven’t noticed, I write about the Bible and Christian faith now and then. And if you’ve noticed that, you’ve probably also noticed that some of what I write about could be considered a bit edgy—for some, at least.

And that’s OK. When you write about God, Jesus, and the Bible, you’re going to be controversial for somebody. And, if several thousand years of recorded history are any indication, some people are probably going to be very, very, very angry with you for uttering thoughts about ultimate reality that they don’t like. They might even hate you (in Jesus’ name and for the glory of God).

But that doesn’t bother me terribly. Sure, I don’t love it, but it’s part of the job. Plus, my keyboard has delete button.

Over-the-top negativity isn’t the hard part. What’s hard is losing friends, a community, a sense of belonging, a shared narrative.

It’s not so much about friends becoming enemies, but the more subtle disorientation of not really fitting anywhere.

The insider becomes the outsider. Nothing unravels a social fabric quicker. I get it. No one likes their social fabric unraveled. It keeps us warm and safe. No offense taken.
I keep writing because I believe in being true to myself, and genuine faith cannot exist for me if I hold back and refuse to “take door number 3.” I’m not particularly brave. I don’t wake up in the morning mustering courage so I can go into battle to slay dragons. I just don’t know what else to do with myself.

I don’t know how not to turn things around in my head and look for a different angle that produces some new insights, even if that means leaving behind familiar things. I just can’t imagine not trying to work all this out—for my own benefit, and, if all goes well, for others, too.

I’m not whining. I’m not a martyr. It is what it is. I’m just saying the loss of community, of a shared narrative, is the hardest part for me. Not fitting. Not knowing where you fit, or if such a place even exists. And maybe this is how it will always be.

And I know a lot of others feel the same way.

(Source, HERE)

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A Brief but Deep Thought on Defending the Christian Faith (or not) – Pete Enns

Source: A Brief but Deep Thought on Defending the Christian Faith (or not) – Pete Enns

I just love Peeter Enns and I fully agree with him o his view of apologetics.

We are the apologetic, and that is much harder than crafting arguments.’ I could not say that better. Thanks, Peter Enns.

A Blog Post in which I Get Belligerent about Theological Belligerence – Pete Enns

Source: A Blog Post in which I Get Belligerent about Theological Belligerence – Pete Enns

Something worth pondering. I am sure you are not guity of this, but I am, so this is promarily for me.

Rob Bell – What Is the Bible?

I have just finished reading Rob Bell’s latest book, titled What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything. I really loved it and I think every evangelical should read it. The book does not say anything new, nor does the author claim to do so. It merely presents at a popular level what theologians and Bible scholars have said about it in the last hundred years.

You may ask, what is then so important about it? Here is my answer. Continue reading “Rob Bell – What Is the Bible?”

Brian Zahnd – Christian Certitude: A Disaster Waiting to Happen

enns-sin-of-certainly

Do you love your faith so little that you have never battled a single fear lest your faith should not be true? Where there are no doubts, no questions, no perplexities, there can be no growth.

– George MacDonald

In my spiritual memoir, Water To Wine, part of the story I tell involves my own journey away from cheap certitude toward an authentic faith. It is a phenomenon of modernity that certitude (mental assent toward something as an absolute empirical fact) has become confused with faith (an orientation of the soul toward God in the form of deep trust).

That this phenomenon is prevalent among certain streams of Christians is strangely ironic since this involves genuflecting at the altar of empiricism and privileging knowledge over faith. Privileging empiricism above faith as the final arbiter of truth is a hallmark of modernity, but it is also antithetical to Christianity.

Certitude is a poor substitute for authentic faith. But certitude is popular; it’s popular because it’s easy. No wrestling with doubt, no dark night of the soul, no costly agonizing over the matter, no testing yourself with hard questions. Just accept a secondhand assumption or a majority opinion or a popular sentiment as the final word and settle into certainty.

Certitude is easy…until it’s impossible. And, that’s why certitude is so often a disaster waiting to happen. The empty slogan “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” is cheap certitude, not genuine faith. Continue reading “Brian Zahnd – Christian Certitude: A Disaster Waiting to Happen”

inerrancy and the recent non-apocalyptic discussion at the annual Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Baltimore

inerrancy and the recent non-apocalyptic discussion at the annual Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Baltimore.

This is a very important discussion in the context of the blatant biblicism that dominates evangelicalism in general, and this ecclesial tradition in Romania, in particular.

James Barr on Evangelical Fundamentalism

James Barr (1924–2006)

In one of his recent posts on his blog, Peter Enns quotes James Barr, who in the second edition (1981)of his book Fundamentalism tries to respond to objections he received to his charge of fundamentalism addressed to evangelical biblical scholarship in general in the first edition of his book (1978).

Here is his response to these charges, which Enns suggests, and I agree to a large extent, are still valid for a considerable amount on evangelical biblical scholarship. But you do not have to believe it. Judge for yourselves. Here is the quote from Barr, borrowed from Enns:

But are things much better now? The suggestion that they are in fact much better now, and that conservative evangelicalism today is quite different, free from the stains of the older fundamentalism, is one of the most interesting responses that my book has evoked. Conservative propaganda has, it seems, convinced some that this improvement has taken place. Undoubtedly the total evangelical scene in recent years has come to display some excellent features of openness, freedom and variety. But the very success and numerical strength of evangelicalism has through the same process greatly intensified the obscurantists, backward-looking and extremist aspects in which the core of fundamentalism resides. Continue reading “James Barr on Evangelical Fundamentalism”