Having just purchased the Kindle edition of this book ($12.99) for my Memorial Day reflective reading, I’ve only finished chapter 1 and already find much fruit for reflection.
Here is a quote from that chapter:
Peter Enns: Let me say again that beliefs themselves are not the problem. Working out what we believe is worthy of serious time and effort in our lives of faith. But our pursuit of having the right beliefs and locking them up in a vault are not the center of faith. Trust in God is. When holding to correct thinking becomes the center, we have shrunk faith in God to an intellectual exercise, a human enterprise, where differences need to be settled through debate first before faith can get off the ground.
Here is a broad challenge that I don’t think leaves any of us in this forum unscathed. It is easy to hear in this a targeted and thus deflected criticism of those fundamentalists over there or this or that person who is a few notches more “conservative” than we are on origins issues. But (similar to what @deliberateresult has challenged me with recently), how do we who pride ourselves in trying to attend to the full spectrum scientific knowledge along with theological revelation, and who have begun to settle ourselves comfortably into the theological terrain so furnished (as we like to rehearse to everyone who will listen) by reading both of God’s books – his works and his Word; – how do we escape this need to have God in just yet another box that is still largely of our own fashioning. (I’m competing with the Apostle Paul again for longest run-on sentence. I think he may still have me, though.)
I could ask for thoughts, but this very forum by its nature and activity here is part of the belly of the beast challenged in this. In other words, I guess I’m suggesting along with Enns that we won’t think our way through it – or rather it may be of spiritual danger to us to fancy with conviction that we have. But does this tread on the much-needed resurgence of a (hopefully!) emerging tradition to worship our Lord with all our mind? Yes, I do get it, that I should not confuse my mental image of God with the actual living God. But yet … my mental image of God, flawed as it must necessarily be, is still going to be all I have access to (at least on my terms). And maybe that last parenthetical after-thought is the key. The actual living God does have more than full access to me and the world I live in. There is much to learn to trust in that. And that, I think, might be a fair summary of Enns’ main thesis in this book as far as chapter 1 reveals.
May you all have a reflective Memorial day.