The Evangelical Universalist Forum

$2: "The Bible Tells Me So" by Peter Enns (6 Nov 2018)


Open Theism: is it true, possible or biblical?

Bought the book this morning and made pretty good progress in it. Fascinating.
A sample from his very honest pointing out of the moral atrocities in the OT.


…could be another good read Dave.


Since 99.99% of all the flaming, hurt feelings and name-calling that is done here is related to false presuppositions and doctrines based on the Old Testament, its customs and exterminations and weirdness all in the name of ‘God’, I’d say this book is required reading. For $2, c’mon, it’s a no-brainer.
It would be huge fun if a bunch of us read it. It answers many problems that cause stress and the bumping of heads. I know, because I have been both a butt-er and a butt-ee. As well as just a butt.


Ya, another view for the cog… No offence to the preposition you put forth, but how many times will we put forth another view and say :star_struck: God this is it.:joy:

Brother, you are digging holes. :smirk:

There is no view that is right. :open_mouth: We can debate for ever, but the fact is that it is still a debate.:confused:


Thanks, Dave, for your quote from the book. The first paragraph from the quote is exactly the position that I have held for many years. I expressed this view on the theos Christian forum (I think about a year ago), and got raked over the coals for doing so.

On both that forum and this, I have been accused of “picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to believe” and that I believe only those parts that I can emotionally accept.


Hmmmm…is the view that ‘no view is right’, right?


So how am I wrong? Explain in 100 words what is right… If you are on a roll and go past the 100 words so be it.

Let’s see what you’ve got.


Where can you get it for $2, Dave? In looking it up, I found that the physical book costs many times that amount—though the kindle edition is only $1.52.


Chad - simple. If “no view is right” then that includes your view. Or any view. That leaves me 85 words but I’ll just stick those in my back pocket for future use.

Don - I got the kindle edition.


Yepper, But you seem to view all views as wrong, because you will not commit, to what is right.


What can any of us do, except to have what is to us a justifiable position?
Of COURSE I think I’m right - don’t you, don’t all of us? The question is are we willing to fight and die on that particular hill or not? I have a couple of hills that yes, I would die on I suppose, but those are few and far between.


That is what I’m talking about… I’m so un right that it ain’t even funny,

Yes, that is it.

But when we get past that ‘wanting to be right’ we start to realize that there are a whole bunch of folks who are out there who are not going to get it right, no matter how the crap falls.

My point is that we create chaos instead of mending.

Religion (Christianity) is a platform for the chaotic life that many of us here have endured, and I am simply saying that there is an alternative.

It is quite simple.

God Loves us all.


(Originally posted on another thread yesterday)

I’ve just finished reading Peter Enns’ book “The Bible Tells Me So”. A very good book on a number of levels.
Though he does not address the particular idea that in the OT the Hebrews mistook the voice of satan for the voice of the true God, his knowledge of what type of book the OT is throws some light, I think, on the question of ‘mistaking the voice’.

Long story short - they did not hear a voice at all. Enns points out that we are reading stories written by ancient tribal folk, who did not think of history as we do, nor did they have an idea of God that was radically different from the older cultures that surrounded them.
So they did write as if God was a warrior lord, directing the slaughter of Israel’s ‘enemies’, men women kids and even animals, in order that they might inhabit the land, among other atrocities and weird happenings.
When it came time to ‘write’ the OT - late in the monarchy or during or right after ‘the’ exile - the stories are written as history, as they conceived history - which amounted to a very small amount of verifiable detail, but was mostly a creative myth-making that shaped a narrative that tried to bring a sense of 'Who we are, how we got here, what time is it?" to the returning exiles who for sure were wondering what happened to the covenant, the promises, the faithfulness of God etc.

In short, Enns proposes among other things the following two points:

  1. The OT is the product of creative re-imagining of oral history and a few written sources; produced and shaped by the needs of a community that was lost and without focus. Does this mean we are reading fiction? In the sense that they were trying to deceive others, no; in the sense that this story-creating was intentionally shaped and imaginatively composed, yes. But this is a liberating thing for us to know. And this is NOT to try and avoid unpleasant things about God, because we know what God really is like - Jesus.

  2. The Jews were an ancient, tribal group. What was written was for them, in the only way they were able to understand. They were not us, so to speak.
    There’s so much more to the book that the above is just a caricature. I recommend it not only for the light it sheds on the question in this thread (which is a HUGE step forward) but for increasing our understanding of what kind of book the Bible actually is - given to us by God, but not in the way we kind of naively assume.


Hi Dave,
I just bought the kindle edition, too. I waited too long. The price went up to $1.99


I feel your pain :slight_smile:


That is what I’ve been trying to say forever.


Well good grief, man, you shoulda SAID it! :grin:
Okay, that’s the OT. What’s next?


You are trekking your own way… Good luck son.


Wherever I trek, I take Wm. Ellery Channing with me :slight_smile:
" We regard the Scriptures as the records of God’s successive revelations to mankind, and particularly of the last and most perfect revelation of his will by Jesus Christ. Whatever doctrines seem to us to be clearly taught in the Scriptures; we receive without reserve or exception. We do not, however, attach equal importance to all the books in this collection. Our religion, we believe, lies chiefly in the New Testament. The dispensation of Moses, compared with that of Jesus, we consider as adapted to the childhood of the human race, a preparation for a nobler system, and chiefly useful now as serving to confirm and illustrate the Christian Scriptures. Jesus Christ is the only master of Christians, and whatever he taught, either during his personal ministry, or by his inspired Apostles, we regard as of divine authority, and profess to make the rule of our lives."

That’s the clearest expression - along with the rest of the essay - of a responsible attitude toward scripture, that I can imagine.