He who hears the shema drinks the shekar!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Little More Odds and Enns....

Vicky and I leave for a week in Cayman tonight -- one of my cousins is getting married. I had planned a more lengthy post to follow up the previous one on Professor Enns. There are some fascinating parallels to the current debate and similar debates in the later half of the 19th century in the Free Church of Scotland with William Robertson Smith and at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with Crawford H. Toy, both of whom were removed/forced out because they espoused 'new' views of Scripture that were deemed dangerous to the Christian faith. Those will have to wait until I return next week.

I had also planned on writing something on Warfield, who has been referenced numerous time in this debate, particularly on the point of
concursus and the 'incarnational analogy' between Christ and Scripture. However, Lee Irons already jumped on this particular point a week ago. There are a number of other juicy Warfield quotes that could be cited in the current context. All that to say -- the comparisons between Warfield and Enns begin to break down upon a closer inspection of the sources. I will say that I've come away mightily impressed again how marvelous Warfield is to avoid overly simplistic (i.e. fundamentalistic/head-in-the-sand, dictation theory, etc.) approaches to the Doctrine of Scripture, while at the same time avoiding the capitulation that came at the hands of Higher Criticism in the late 1800's. This is no small feat, especially when you see how many others (like Smith and Toy above) didn't fair nearly so well.

I did want to post one item of interest -- a 38-page letter that Prof. Enns sent to the Board of Directors in January 2008. I've uploaded the 3mb file here, if any are interested. You'll notice that on the first page, there's a disclaimer that this information is not some 'secret memo' that was never intended to get out in the first place.

For those well-versed in the plethora of reviews and rejoinders since
I&I was published, I don't think you will find any earth-shattering revelations...with maybe the exception that Prof. Enns admits that he is going farther than Waltke, Longman, Walton and others on the matter of 'myth' in ANE context (p.27-28). What does come out very clearly in the letter is the ever-widening rift at Westminster East that many of us in the WTS-tradition have known about for the past decade (and probably longer). Read in that light, it seems plausible to read I&I as a sort of personal throwing-down-of-the-gauntlet as to the future direction of Westminster Seminary. You can see why something had to happen. The "Why can't we all get along" shtick is simply not going to work, when the disagreements are this substantial.