Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WTJ: Enns Debate On Inspiration, Round XXVI,

The discussion and debate over Peter Enns book Incarnation and Inspiration may have just heated up again. While the topic is over important issues, this is beginning to look like it will have more rounds than the Rocky movies.

The Spring issue of the Westminster Theological Journal has several essays:
  1. Review Article: "Revisting Inspiration and Incarnation" by Bruce Waltke
  2. "Interaction with Bruce Waltke" by Peter Enns
  3. "Interaction with Peter Enns" Bruce Waltke
  4. "The Inspiration and Interpretation of God's Word with Special Reference To Peter Enns: Part 1: Inspiration and Its Implications." by James Scott
At this point I haven't had a chance to do much more than skim the essays. The interaction between Waltke and Enns looks promising. It seems to be a very gracious response and counter response series. Waltke's main contention is to look at some of Enns data and argue that there are alternate interpretations for what Enns has shown. There is some correction and clarification by Enns followed by Waltke responding again. This may actually move to some clarity. While it may not actually change the opinions of seasoned scholars, it may help the novice realize that Enns' data is open to interpretation (and one might argue vice versa). Too often the novice, particularly the blogger has been so sure (dare we say smug) about the side upon which they land in the debate.

Scott's essay is really just an earlier version of what was distributed to the voting members of the WTS faculty as early as Feb. 2008 (as noted in footnote 5 of the essay). It remains to be seen what, if anything this will contribue to the debate or if this is just making public early defenses and rationales.

Another essay "Election and Trinity" looks to be promising particularly for those interested in systematic theology and some of the Barth and McCormick proposals. There is about five pages (pp.71-76) with the heading "Vos' Biblical-Theological Contribution". This comment struck me:
"Whereas McCormack and Barth would want to eternalize his priesthood in makin the God-human an eternal reality, the author explains (and if Vos is correct above, our Lord himself intimates) that at one time God was not a high priest. Priesthood is something proper to his humanity only." (p.75, emphasis original)

Again, it looks like an good theological interaction, and well worth a more careful read. It seems to be exegetically aware with an attention to biblical theology to answer the tough theology question surrounding God's aseity. It is a response to Barth/McCormick.

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