The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It

The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It

by Peter Enns


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The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It by Peter Enns

The controversial Bible scholar and author of The Evolution of Adam recounts his transformative spiritual journey in which he discovered a new, more honest way to love and appreciate God’s Word.

Trained as an evangelical Bible scholar, Peter Enns loved the Scriptures and shared his devotion, teaching at Westminster Theological Seminary. But the further he studied the Bible, the more he found himself confronted by questions that could neither be answered within the rigid framework of his religious instruction or accepted among the conservative evangelical community.

Rejecting the increasingly complicated intellectual games used by conservative Christians to “protect” the Bible, Enns was conflicted. Is this what God really requires? How could God’s plan for divine inspiration mean ignoring what is really written in the Bible? These questions eventually cost Enns his job—but they also opened a new spiritual path for him to follow.

The Bible Tells Me So chronicles Enns’s spiritual odyssey, how he came to see beyond restrictive doctrine and learned to embrace God’s Word as it is actually written. As he explores questions progressive evangelical readers of Scripture commonly face yet fear voicing, Enns reveals that they are the very questions that God wants us to consider—the essence of our spiritual study.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062272034
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/15/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 162,894
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Peter Enns is the Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania. Enns speaks at schools, churches, and seminars across the country and is a frequent contributor to journals and encyclopedias. He is the author of several books, including The Sin of Certainty, The Bible Tells Me So, Inspiration and Incarnation, and The Evolution of Adam.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xiii

Chapter 1 I'll Take Door Number Three

When the Bible Doesn't Behave 3

The Bible Isn't the Problem 7

My Life, in Brief, and Such as It Is 10

Concerning Camels' Backs and Beach Balls 14

Door Number Three 19

So What's My Point? 22

Chapter 2 God Did What?!

How Not to Treat Other People 29

Those Wicked, Horrible Canaanites 33

Marching Orders 36

"If Jesus Sends People to Hell, What's So Bad About Killing Some Canaanites??" 41

God's Nicer Side 46

Worst, Sinners, Ever 50

It's a Tribal Culture Thing 54

Digging for Answers 58

God Lets His Children Tell the Story 61

Why This Chapter Is So Important and So Dreadfully Long 66

Chapter 3 God Likes Stories

What Happened? 73

The Stories of Jesus 78

Little Baby Jesuses 82

Who Saw the Big Moment? 87

The Stories of Israel 90

The Past Serves the Present 95

A Warm-Up for the Main Event 100

A Sneak Peek at the Political Map 106

Playing Favorites with Little Brother 110

Adam, Who Art Thou? 113

The Exodus Story 116

When Gods Fight 119

What's with All the Water? 124

Stories Work 127

Chapter 4 Why Doesn't God Make Up His Mind?

Raising Kids by the Book (FYI, It Doesn't Work) 133

"If I Wanted to Tell You What to Do, I Would Have"-God 137

When Biblical Writers Get Cranky 142

"Don't Quote the Bible at Me, Please. I'm God."-God, to Job and His Friends 146

Is There More Than One God? (And, No, This Isn't a Trick Question) 150

God Seems Like a Regular Joe 155

God Lays Down the Law...Sort of 160

Chapter 5 Jesus Is Bigger Than the Bible

Jesus Gets a Big Fat "F" in Bible 167

Jesus Was Actually Jewish (Go Figure) 171

Jesus Messes with the Bible 175

Jesus: Moses 2.0 180

Jesus Picks Fights 184

Jesus Was a Human Being 187

Chapter 6 No One Saw This Coming

I Could Tell You But You Wouldn't Understand 193

Good News! Our Leader Was Executed by the Romans! Come Join Us! 196

"It's All About Me."-Jesus (According to Luke and Matthew) 201

Are We There Yet? 206

Jesus, Savior of the World 210

God's Answer to a Question No One Was Asking 215

"Torah? Oh That. It Was Only Temporary."-God (As Told to Paul) 219

"Why Don't You Just Go Castrate Yourself," and Other Spiritual Advice 224

Chapter 7 The Bible, Just as It Is

For Those on the Go, the Entire Book in Exactly 265 Words (With Brief Commentary) 231

A Quick Thought About the Universe and God Laughing 233

Not That I'm Trying to Tell You What to Do, But... 236

Where in the Bible Were We? (In Order of Appearance) 245

Some Dates I Keep Referring To (And a Few Others) 255

In Case You Don't Believe Me and Want to Read More 259

Acknowledgments 265

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