From my own humble point of view (and only from his other writings, haven’t gotten to the next chapter in the “five views” book yet)… Enns gives some kind of lip service to the idea of inspiration… but whatever he means by it, inspiration did not keep the Bible from being practically indistinguishable from any other ancient near-eastern writings. Just as fallible, erroneous, filled with faulty impressions of deities, inherited from very problematic and immoral cultural sensitivities. Indistinguishable in any way from the process that have us Enuma Elish or Hammurabi’s code or any Egyptian or Greek myth. I’ll address it more once I read that particular chapter, to be fair.
I’ve found this analogy very helpful in conceiving or explaining the sensus plenior…
Take a movie that has a particularly ingenious plot twist at the end… something like Sixth Sense, Fight Club, Maverick, Psycho, etc. when you watch the movie up until the “reveal”, it is entirely coherent. Nothing particularly contrived, every line of dialogue makes perfect sense, and it is telling an engaging story with a straightforward meaning.
All of a sudden, one little bit of information is revealed, and then you realize that every line if dialogue has a deeper meaning. When done well, It isn’t a contrived, “retroactive continuity” kind of artificial new meaning forced into the original, or the like. No, you realize that the author had this “deeper meaning” in mind the whole time. The “first” (plain) meaning was effectively communicating a real, genuine, intentional meaning… but upon the reveal, you realize that all the time the author was also planning to go somewhere else with his words.
This is explicitly claimed to be the case, for instance, in the atonement. God had demanded the people of the OT offer animal sacrifices in order to atone for their sin. This was real and necessary for them, and gave them real and genuine worship, communicating that God’s forgiveness comes at a cost as justice must also be executed, but that he is willing to accept a substitute, a scapegoat.
But upon the “reveal”, we realize that all those details about animal sacrifice in worshipmhad a fuller meaning… “Behold the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” This is either A) John coopting the OT narrative and artificially importing what Jesus did onto a worship activity that was never intended to be connected to Christ butnwhich coincidentally and conveniently had some parallels… or B) that when God gave the worship regulations of animal sacrifice to the people in the OT, he did so all while he had an eye to what the “end of the story” would be, and gave one regulations with a “deeper meaning” in his own mind.
This basic principle is proffered throughout the Bible…Hebrews in particular.
“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.”
Appreciate your candor… but this reminds me of…
Speaking of my hero C. S. Lewis… One observation by him that I find both logically inescapable, and especially germane to our current discussion (whether Israelite conquest or penal substitution)…
The great difficulty is to get modern audiences to realize that you are preaching Christianity solely and simply because you happen to think it true; they always suppose you are preaching it because you like it or think it good for society or something of that sort. Now a clearly maintained distinction between what the Faith actually says and what you would like it to have said or what you understand or what you personally find helpful or think probable, forces your audience to realize that you are tied to your data just as the scientist is tied by the results of the experiments; that you are not just saying what you like. This immediately helps them to realize that what is being discussed is a question about objective fact -not gas about ideals and points of view. Secondly, this scrupulous care to preserve the Christian message as something distinct from one’s own ideas, has one very good effect upon the apologist himself. It forces him, again and again, to face up to those elements in original Christianity which he personally finds obscure or repulsive. He is saved from the temptation to skip or slur or ignore what he finds disagreeable. And the man who yields to that temptation will, of course, never progress in Christian knowledge. For obviously the doctrines which one finds easy are the doctrines which give Christian sanction to truths you already knew. The new truth which you do not know and which you need must, in the very nature of things, be hidden precisely in the doctrines you least like and least understand… there will be progress in Christian knowledge only as long as we accept the challenge of the difficult or repellent doctrines. A ‘liberal’ Christianity which considers itself free to alter the Faith whenever the Faith looks perplexing or repellent must be completely stagnant.
My bottom line argument is rather simple. I personally embrace inerrancy because Jesus did and taught me to. There are layers and complexities to unpack in this argument, of course, and I can explain further, but the bottom line as to why I embrace it is because I perceive that Jesus did and wants me to, which follows and confirms a long history of the rest of scripture commanding the same, and I trust his judgment.