The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It

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9780062272027: The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It

The controversial Bible scholar and author of The Evolution of Adam recounts his transformative spiritual journey in which he discovered a new, more honest way to love and appreciate God’s Word.

Trained as an evangelical Bible scholar, Peter Enns loved the Scriptures and shared his devotion, teaching at Westminster Theological Seminary. But the further he studied the Bible, the more he found himself confronted by questions that could neither be answered within the rigid framework of his religious instruction or accepted among the conservative evangelical community.

Rejecting the increasingly complicated intellectual games used by conservative Christians to “protect” the Bible, Enns was conflicted. Is this what God really requires? How could God’s plan for divine inspiration mean ignoring what is really written in the Bible? These questions eventually cost Enns his job—but they also opened a new spiritual path for him to follow.

The Bible Tells Me So chronicles Enns’s spiritual odyssey, how he came to see beyond restrictive doctrine and learned to embrace God’s Word as it is actually written. As he explores questions progressive evangelical readers of Scripture commonly face yet fear voicing, Enns reveals that they are the very questions that God wants us to consider—the essence of our spiritual study.

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From the Back Cover:

Christians have been defending scripture from attack for two centuries. In fact, argues Bible scholar Peter Enns, we have become so busy protecting the Bible that we are now unable to read it. In The Bible Tells Me So, he provides a revolutionary new perspective:

"What if God is actually fine with the Bible just as it is? Not the well-behaved version we create, but the messy, troubling, weird, and ancient Bible has something to show us about our own sacred journey of faith. Sweating bullets to line up the Bible with our exhausting expectations, to make the Bible something it's not meant to be, isn't a pious act of faith, even if it looks that way on the surface. It's actually a thinly masked fear of losing control and certainty, a mirror of our inner disquiet, a warning signal of a deep distrust in God. A Bible like that isn't a sure foundation of faith; it's a barrier to true faith. Creating a Bible that behaves itself doesn't support the spiritual journey; it cripples it. The Bible's raw messiness isn't a problem to be solved. It's an invitation to a deeper faith."

Christians have had it drilled into them that their job is to defend the Bible against any challenge. But is this really God's plan? What if God wants us to debate and wrestle with what we read in scripture? In The Bible Tells Me So, Enns wants to do for the Bible what Rob Bell did for hell in Love Wins: expose Christians' fear-based contradictory beliefs and show a new way forward. Here you will find a revolutionary guide that will liberate Christians so they can truly engage with God's Word.

About the Author:

Dr. Peter Enns (PhD, Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University, St. Davids, PA. He has taught courses at several other institutions including Harvard University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. Enns is a frequent contributor to journals and encyclopedias, and his books include, The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It (HarperOne), The Bible and the Believer: How to Read the Bible Critically and Religiously (with Marc Brettler and Daniel Harrington, Oxford University Press), Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and The Problem of the Old Testament (Baker), and The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn't Say about Human Origins (Baker). His popular blog, "rethinking biblical christianity," can be found at patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/.

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