Peter Enns Unpacks Theological Belligerence

Peter EnnsIn a post Fear Leads to Anger: Unpacking Theological Belligerence Peter Enns brilliantly explores the roots of why many Christians are so quick to attack their brothers and sisters in Christ over doctrinal differences, which on further investigation often turn out to be illusory or trivial. He writes:

When I see someone who:

seeks theological conflict with fellow Christians,

or is quick to turn the temperature up at the slightest provocation,

or presumes to be right at every turn and has has an excessive need to display it,

I know I am dealing with a deeply fearful person.

Sadly there are far too many fearful people like this on the blogosphere.

And not only there, as Enns knows personally. In 2008 he was effectively fired from Westminster Theological Seminary because of the controversy over his book Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. He has also recently ceased to be a Senior Fellow with the Biologos Foundation (confirmed by his own edit of his Wikipedia biography on 19th September 2011, although curiously he is still listed as a Senior Fellow at the Biologos website), and one blogger has reported his departure as follows:

What both Enns and Karl Giberson (also recently departed) had in common was their repudiation of the physical existence of Adam and Eve—something that angered the evangelicals, who desperately want to save that story to ensure that Jesus didn’t die for a mere metaphor.  I would guess that both Enns and Giberson were shown the door because of this issue …

Well, that may be pure speculation, but if anything like true it would suggest that more deeply fearful people have turned on Enns.

So all credit to Peter Enns that he has not responded in anger or even in self-justification against the people who have had him fired, at least once and perhaps twice.

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