Friday, March 25, 2011

Peter Enns Unbiblical? Jay Wile Plays Semantics

A new Decalogue has been adopted by the neo-Christians of our day, the first word of which reads "Thou shalt not disagree"; and a new set of Beatitudes too, which begins "Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything. It is now the accepted thing to talk over religious differences in public with the understanding that no one will try to convert another or point out errors in his belief. The purpose of these talks is not to confront truth, but to discover how the followers of other religions think and thus benefit from their views as we hope they will from ours.~A.W. Tozer


By now you know that the dis-invite of Ken Ham to the Great Homeschool Conventions in Cincinnati and Greenville is the talk of the homeschooling world right now. What you may not know is that there are other individuals who are involved in this controversy as well. Dr. Jay Wile formerly of Apologia and Susan Bauer of The Well Trained Mind, have both put themselves into the middle of it. Hopefully, I will have time to do a bit more looking into Susan's stand on the controversial dismissal, but for now I want to share a bit of Dr. Wile's response to it. On Dr. Wile's blog he has yet again voiced his disapproval of Ken Ham's outing of Dr.Peter Enns unbiblical views, but more interesting than the blog is the comments. While Dr. Wile states adamantly that he does not agree with Enns' non-literal interpretation of, well frankly, just about the entire Bible, he seems to be consistently defending him and unwilling to call it like it is, WRONG. If Enns is wrong, that is he is not interpreting scripture correctly, then wouldn't that make his views unbiblical? I mean either you have a correct interpretation or you don't, either you are biblical or you are not. So, my question to Dr. Wile would be, at what point does it become unbiblical? Peter Enns represents a growing and dangerous liberal movement not only within the homeschool circles, but also within evangelical Christianity. The movement has not just led to the "theistic evolutionist" view point, but to much more dangerous ones. A non-literal translation of the Bible undermines the entire authority of the scripture! Starting with Genesis, Ennis has systematically turned the Bible into a book of metaphorical fairy tales.

You cannot expect the Bible -- written in ancient times for ancient eyes -- to enter a modern scientific discussion, and you cannot fault the Bible when it fails to answer our questions. This is not a new insight. Augustine said famously 160 years ago that Christians embarrass themselves when they appeal to the Bible to settle scientific matters (cosmology was the issue he was dealing with). Even if many Christians throughout history did assume that the Bible is scientifically accurate, the problems with that position have been understood for a very long time, long before the modern era. - Peter Enns
Dr. Enns has taken the accuracy of the scriptures and thrown it out as being too old fashioned to be interpreted by science. The problem, Dr. Enns, is that we aren't supposed to be interpreting scripture by science, but the other way around! Secondly, Dr. Ennis has taken the Gospel out of the equation when talking to children. His curriculum tells parents not to tell children of their sin nature:


What should not be emphasized is the child's miserable state of sin and the need for a savior... Fuller lessons concerning sin and grace will come in time, and certainly parents and churches have the responsibility to teach the fullness, of what the Bible has to offer. But most young children simply do not have the emotional or intellectual maturity to grasp the adult concepts in the Bible. ...Do not allow yourself to be convinced that you are somehow shortchanging your children by not addressing adult concepts at such a young age...I believe in God's displeasure with sin. But to introduce children to the God of wrath right at the beginning of their lives, without the requisite biblical foundation and before the years of emotional maturity, can actually distort their view of God. Telling God's Story by Peter Enns

I don't know about yours, but my Bible says that without an understanding of our fallen state we are unable to come to Christ in a repentant state, beg for His forgiveness and become born again. Furthermore, my children are not stupid, and are amazingly perceptive when it comes to the things of God. Not only does this stand as an insult to our children's intelligence, but it is just plain dangerous as they have no hope of salvation without an understanding of sin, God's wrath, judgement and provision. Jesus himself said, "suffer the little children to come unto me"! Finally, while this is certainly not the last of the intolerable teachings of Peter Enns, I will end with this quote:
It is entirely accurate to understand Israel’s kings as messiahs: they were anointed by God to do his work. We need to resist the temptation to think that “messiah” in the Old Testament means the supernatural, second person of the Trinity, who will die for our sins. p83 of Telling God's Story
This, in my opinion, not only qualifies as unbiblical, but as heretical. It simply speaks for itself. So tell me again Dr. Wile, what does one have to teach to be considered unbiblical?

I refuse to link to Peter Enns book. Amazon carries it if you wish to verify my uncited quotes. The free book offered online is missing some of the quotes. If you look in the comment section one of the ladies has kindly linked to a scanned copy of the page that contains the page 83 quote.

20 comments:

Bev said...

Totally agree, it is heretical!

Lana said...

Where did you get the page p83 of Telling God's Story quote from? Did you get the book in print?

Peace Hill has released the whole volume in eformat, but I can't seem to find the quote you use...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/51538077/Telling-God-s-Story-Year-One-Instructor-Text-and-Teaching-Guide?query=messiah


there is a similar portion on pg 25 & 26...

Anna said...

I will double check my citing. I have not read the book but verrified the quote on several sites. I, and posted this before the book was made available for free, will do some digging and correct it if need be :)

I dont think it's entirely impossible that what was released is edited, but before I make that accusation I will do a bit more research.

ourhearts4home said...

Anna, nice work and I love the Tozer quote! So good.

ourhearts4home said...

There is a Telling God's Story parent guide and a teaching guide and a student guide. Is it possible the quote came from the parent guide?

Samantha Short said...

Theistic evolution completely undermines the entire gospel message...Shame on them for the disinvite of Ken Ham. It's a shame to have someone of Dr. Jay Wile's stature agreeing with the likes of Peter Enn. Rest assured that Apologia has completely seperated themselves from this controversy. Their books are top notch when it comes to teaching science from a clear creation/ Christ-centered world view. Thanks for your post!

Diane said...

Great post.
Blessings
Diane

HeartofWisdom said...

page 83 in the paper book is different than page 83 online version. Here is an image of pg 83
http://ow.ly/4nY3Z

Anna said...

Thank you so much for that. I had a funny feeling something had been edited out. That alone ought to make people leary.

Richele said...

Wonderful post! You did a great job tackling this. I wonder...is Dr. Wile and Enns somehow involved where money is involved? Enns needed someone like Dr. Wile to defend him. Although some have said the Dr. Wile is not too far off from Enns. I can't said I agree with that. However, I do think there is another reason he defends him or speaks out against Ham.

Andi said...

Wonderful...and I tweeted this for others to read and I will like this article to my blog for a while. This is a huge matter and one that should not be ignored!

Anna said...

Thank you. I suppose I should fix the grammatical errors in it. I type with passion and not with grammar in mind LOL.

Richele-I'm not so sure that Jay Wile isn't going down the same road as Enns. At the very least he is playing a dangerous game of "Let's agree to disagree". I think this is a big issue in Christianity today. We are so scared of being offensive that we are willing to "tollerate" wrong interpretation of scripture. What Dr. Enns is teaching is not inconsequential. It is flat out dangerous!

Richele said...

Anna, I could not agree with you more. Too many are willing to compromise instead of standing firm on the Word. It's just too bad that it appears Dr. Wiles is doing the same. I had heard from someone else that he is going in the wrong direction. So sad.

Donna said...

love your post!

Anonymous said...

thank you for your thoughtful post. We use many of the resources from WTM/peace hill press and love them. If not for the courage of Ken Ham, and bloggers like yourself, I would have purchased this curriculum without questions. I have learned a valuable lesson about discernment.

lca.academy said...

The reason Jaye Wile is defending Peter Enns has nothing to do with money nor the fact that Wile agrees with him. Wile simply believes that Enns has one interpretation of the Scripture and he and Ham have another. Unlike Ham, Wile believes that both interpretations are valid, but Wile just happens to accept the way Ham interpretations the Bible.

As for me, I neither whole heartedly agree with either side. Creation vs evolution is not a salvation matter, and therefore I don't stand staunchly on either side. I was actually going to purchase the Enns' curriculum, but am now leaning on not getting it due to page that was referenced here. It's not that I agree or disagree with the statement he makes, it has more to do with the fact that he seemingly is trying to cover it up. I am looking for the true reason that paragraph is not in the online version.

ourhearts4home said...

Thank you, Anna, for all this food for thought! Creation vs. evolution. That's a big debate isn't it? While it may not be a 'salvation issue' on the surface, in the end it becomes quite important. If we can say that parts of the Bible are not true, then we are calling God a liar. The Bible either is or isn't true from cover to cover. If it isn't true in any one part, then it is no longer the inerrant and Holy Word of God. If that is the case, it leaves room for doubt in all the pages of Scripture. Was any of it really true? How do we get to pick and choose what is and isn't true? Is Jesus really who He says He is in the pages of Scripture? Once we start taking out parts of the Word, where does it stop? If my generation says certain parts are not true, which parts will my son's generation believe? And his sons, after him? It is crucial that I stand for the truth of God's Word.

The Bible is true, cover to cover, and I will not defend someone who says otherwise. I will pray for them, but I won't defend their point of view. Tearing apart God's precious and Holy Word is not something I can overlook. God says He created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and I believe that. I will train my children to believe in His Word. It is what we stand on.

So can I buy a curriculum from an author who questions the inerrancy of Scripture? How can I? I cannot. And how would I know if I hadn't been warned? I read reviews before I purchase curriculum, and if people aren't willing to stand up and say something, I would never know. And I venture to guess many others do the same thing.

Enns has the freedom to believe and write what he likes. And I have the freedom to say that it is contrary to Scripture. And I have the freedom to say it to others as a word of caution. I have the freedom to teach a Biblical worldview, thank God for that.

What I've loved about all this debate is how much it has strengthened our resolve. Our family is even more solidly standing on the living Word of God and that is a very good thing. :)

lca.academy said...

It's not that if one is a theist evolutionist then one is saying not all the Bible is true. Rather, they say it is true, they just have a different way of interpreting it. One can believe the Bible is true cover to cover and still believe in theist evolution.

You are right that we have freedom to express what we like and don't like. Ken Ham also has the freedom to express his views, but like with everything, we also have to face the consequences of that freedom. Ham used his freedom to discredit Enns' salvation, as well as his curriculum, but he did so at a convention that had Enn's there. He used his freedom, and paid the consequences. I have no doubts that had Enns' questioned Ham's salvation and publicly called Ham out at the convention that Enn's would have faced the same consequences.

Anna said...

Peter Enns embraces an incarnational view of scripture. That is he believes that there is human influence and therefore there must be errors.

ourhearts4home said...

True, Anna.

I fail to see how not believing in a literal Adam, or a global flood, or in creation as God said it was in Genesis, can still be considered as one who believes God's Word is true.