Friday, October 30, 2015


What does it mean to be faithful to the text of the Bible? For Peter Enns it means understanding the Bible according to the lens of skeptical scholarship (including evolution):

  • So, things like genomic studies, the fossil record, and ancient Mesopotamian creation myths help us see that the genre of Genesis 1-11 is not science or history.
Reconsidering our interpretation of the Bible is a healthy and Godly thing. However, it seems that Enns wants us to do this through an unbiblical lens and an alien authority:

  • The findings of science and biblical scholarship are not the enemies of Christian faith. They are opportunities to be truly “biblical” because they are invitations to reconsider what it means to read the creation stories well—and that means turning down a different path than most Christians before us have taken.
According to Enns, what does it mean to be “truly biblical?” To see it for what it is – an errant document, which requires some tweaking. However, instead of the Bible being placed under the authority of the scholars, the Bible is to place all other claims under its own scrutiny:

  • The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
Spiritual warfare is a matter of placing all of our thinking, saying, and doing under the authority of God’s Words.

How then can Enns, who had once taught at Westminster Theological Seminary until he was discharged because of his defective view of the Scriptures, justify subjecting Scripture to the skeptics? Enns assumes that the Bible contains many errors. Well, how do we determine which historical statements are true? Through his experts! For example, they claim that Jonah was written after the exile to Babylon and its history represents a revision according to their theological “growth”:

  • The prophet Nahum rejoices at the destruction of the dreaded Assyrians and their capital Nineveh in 612 BCE, but the prophet Jonah, writing generations later after the return from exile, speaks of God’s desire that the Ninevites repent and be saved.

By assigning a very late date to Jonah, Enns denies its historical accuracy. However, Jesus did not:

  • He [Jesus] answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:39-41)

 Unlike Enns, Jesus affirmed the historical accuracy of Jonah. Neither did the first commentary to which I turned. It dated Jonah more in keeping with Scripture’s many assertions that is entirely God breathed (2 Tim. 3:16-17):

  • Since 2 Kings 14:25 relates Jonah to the reign of Jeroboam II, the events in the Book of Jonah took place some time in Jeroboam's reign (793-753 b.c.). Jonah's prophecy about Israel's boundaries being extended may indicate that he made that prophecy early in Jeroboam's reign. This makes Jonah a contemporary of both Hosea and Amos (cf. Hosea 1:1; Amos 1:1). Jonah's reference to Nineveh in the past tense (Jonah 3:3) has led some to suggest that Jonah lived later, after the city's destruction in 612 b.c. However, the tense of the Hebrew verb can just as well point to the city's existence in Jonah's day. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)
Should we interpret the Bible in accordance with Enns’ alleged errors or in accordance with the consistent claims of Scripture that it is entirely God-given (2 Peter 1:19-21)? Enns also claims that there are inaccuracies in the historical books:

  • In fact, Israel’s entire history is given a fresh coat of paint in the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, which differs remarkably, and often flatly contradicts, the earlier history of Israel in the books of Samuel and Kings.
However, in the talk that he gave at Michigan State, based on his new book, How the Bible Forces Us to Be Unbiblical, he cites no alleged contradictions. However, he claims that Israel’s later reworking of their history gives us license to also rework the Bible in light of recent scholarship. After all, even Jesus reshaped Scripture with “fresh twists”:

  • I could go on and talk about how the theology of the New Testament positively depends on fresh twists and turns to Israel’s story, such as a crucified messiah and rendering null and void the “eternal covenant” of circumcision as well as the presumably timeless dietary restrictions given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. What happened? Jesus forced a new path for Israel’s story that went well beyond what the Bible “says.”
Well, if Jesus went beyond the Bible, so can we! Indeed, there are several instances where certain features of the Old Covenant are called “eternal.” (Interestingly, the Mosaic Covenant is never called “eternal,” while all of the other covenants are called “eternal.”)

Some have argued that “eternal” has several meanings as does almost any word. In this case, “eternal” might mean “to endure throughout the time of the Old Covenant. Perhaps instead, these features are eternal in terms of their spiritual fulfillment. For example, circumcision might be eternal in the form the circumcision of the heart.

In any event, the consistent promise of the coming of the New meant a termination of the Old Covenant:

  • "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Heb. 8:13)
Jesus wasn’t inventing new ideas; He was drawing His theology from the Old – from what was prophesied to come! In fact, He only had the highest regard of the Scriptures, explicitly claiming that they couldn’t simply by bypassed:

  • "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18)
Jesus did not set Himself above Scripture as its judge to decide which verses were truly inspired, as does Enns. Instead, He received it all as God’s Word. If Jesus had regarded the Word as errant in some respect, He would never have said “until everything is accomplished.” Instead, He might have said, “Until every part that is WITHOUT ERROR is accomplished.” Rather, He continually insisted that everything had to be fulfilled.

When tempted by the Devil, He relied exclusively on Scripture:

  • Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4)
Enns claims that because Jesus went beyond Scripture, we can also. However, there is no evidence that Jesus had gone beyond Scripture. Instead, He reprimanded those who failed to pay sufficient attention to Scripture:

  • He said to them [on the Emmaus Road], "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself… He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24: 25-27, 44-45)
Notice how Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, rather than His own words. Instead, Enns would open our minds to go beyond Scripture into the arms of the skeptic.

However, whenever Jesus quoted from the Scriptures, it was always affirming what Scripture had said. Never once did He disparage Scripture. Instead, He castigated those who didn’t know the Scriptures:

  • Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. (Matthew 22:29)
They didn’t know Scripture because they didn’t esteem it, despite their protestations to the contrary:

  • "But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?" (John 5:45-47)
In contrast, Enns would have us subject Scripture to the authority of the skeptics. Consistent with his approach, he believes in evolution. Consequently, he is forced to deny the historicity of the early chapters of Genesis in order to accommodate to evolution. However, Jesus affirmed their historicity:

  • He [Jesus] answered [the Pharisees regarding divorce], “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female [quoting Gen. 1:26-27], and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ [Gen. 2:24]! So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has [historically] joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
Had not God historically and actually joined together the man and the woman, Jesus’ argument against divorce would have fallen apart. To reject Jesus’ view of Scripture as entirely God-given is to reject Jesus’ teachings, and this is precisely what Enns does:

  • Simply put, seeing the need to move beyond biblical categories is biblical—and as such poses a wonderful model, even divine permission—shall I say “mandate”—to move beyond the Bible when the need arises and reason dictates.
There is no “divine permission” to go beyond Scripture. Paul explicitly stated to not “go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). Nevertheless, Enns claims that he has a higher view of Scripture than the rest of us, because he claims that he takes Scripture for what it is – an errant document, which requires modern scholarship and “reason” to separate its wheat from the chaff. Instead, to have a biblical view of Scripture is to adopt Jesus’ view of Scripture – the very view we find throughout the NT.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


While I am so glad that you want to build bridges, you need to be aware of the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya, which authorizes Muslims to deceive the unbeliever (the infidel). Why do they do this? They believe that they are in a perpetual state of war against the infidel until the entire world is an Islamic Caliphate and all non-Muslims, who remain alive, are degraded into a diminished status under shariah law:

Ibn Khaldun, the 15th century Tunisian historian, states:

  • In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force... Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.
Here’s the Koranic basis for this:

  • “Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion (Islam) reigns supreme.” (Koran 8:37)
  • “When the Sacred Months are over, kill those who ascribe partners [like Jesus] to God wheresoever ye find them; seize them, encompass them, and ambush them; then if they repent and observe prayer and pay the alms, let them go their way’.” (Koran 4:5)
  • “…kill the disbelievers wherever we find them” (Koran 2:191) and “murder them and treat them harshly” (Koran 9:123), and “Strike off the heads of the disbelievers” (Koran 8:12, cp. 8:60).
To achieve this, deception is mandated, even in the form of feigned friendship:

·       [3:27] “Let not the believers take the disbelievers for friends rather than believers. And whoever does this has no connection with Allah unless it is done [deceptively] to guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully.

·       [5:54] O ye who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other.

Consequently, we find in the following fatwa which quotes the Koran in support  (; fatwa 59879):

·       “Undoubtedly the Muslim is obliged to hate the enemies of Allaah and to disavow them, because this is the way of the Messengers and their followers. Allaah says: [60:4] “Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibraaheem (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allaah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in Allaah Alone’”

·           “Based on this, it is not permissible for a Muslim to feel any love in his heart towards the enemies of Allaah who are in fact his enemies too. Allaah says”:

o   [60:1] “O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth”

The Koran even specifies immigration as a tool of Islamic conquest:

·       [Koran 4:100-10] He who emigrates (from his home) in the Cause of Allah [Jihad], will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by. And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto Allah and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten your Salat (prayer) if you fear that the disbelievers may attack you, verily, the disbelievers are ever unto you open enemies.

Just today, I received this link. Please read it. It confirms what I have been warning against:

One other thought – While in the West, the Imam will always be open to interfaith assemblies, you will not find such assemblies openly conducted in Islamic nations where Islam has already accomplished their goal of the domination of the infidel under Islam.

While I would be glad to participate in such a gathering, please understand that my participation in regards to Islam might not be conducive to your purposes. Instead, I would be conscience-bound to expose Islam and its murderous plans as I would, had I been invited to a Nazis interfaith conference in 1932.

Monday, October 26, 2015


In some ways, understanding the Bible is as plain as understanding how to read the clock or the calendar. The Bible is so plain, that the lay person was expected to teach its truths to their children:

  • These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

However, for a number of reasons, interpreting the Bible can also be challenging:

  1. IT WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN ANCIENT LANGUAGES. These languages also arose from different and distant cultures. Even if we rigorously study the Hebrew and the Greek, there are idioms and nuances that we might miss.
  1. SOME OF THE BIBLE IS WRITTEN IN FIGURATIVE/POETIC LANGUAGE. Jesus spoke in parables: “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: ‘I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.’" (Matthew 13:34-35, citing Psalm 78:2)
  1. WE OFTEN DO NOT WANT THE CORRECT INTERPRETATION. Often we prefer an interpretation that will affirm us or our worldview: “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
  1. THE BIBLE MUST BE UNDERSTOOD IN ITS TOTALITY IN ORDER TO ADEQUATELY UNDERSTAND AND APPLY ANY ONE PART: “Jesus answered [Satan], ‘It is written: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4) 
Let’s just focus on #5. “Every word” was necessary for not only living but also for understanding. This had been one of Jesus’ critiques of the religious leadership, who would take one verse out of the context of the rest of the Bible. Consequently, they would apply it wrongly.

For instance, the Israelite was forbidden to work on the Sabbath. However, as Jesus pointed out, there were numerous exceptions to this rule:

  • Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment." (John 7:23-24)
The leadership had failed to understand and correctly apply the teachings against work on the Sabbath in light of the exceptions. One exception was the requirement to circumcise on the eighth day.

In order to interpret and apply a verse correctly, we need to have a comprehensive understanding of Scripture. Otherwise, it might seem that Scripture is contradicting itself. Take the example of Jonah preaching to Nineveh:

  • “On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." (Jonah 3:4)
To our culturally bound ears, it sounds as if Nineveh was absolutely doomed to destruction in 40 days! However, we later find that this wasn’t the case:

  • When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. (Jonah 3:10)
Is this a contradiction? It seems like it is until we read about the conditional quality of many of God’s promises:

  • “If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.” (Jeremiah 18:7-8)
Some will charge that this is simply an example of Jeremiah contradicting Jonah. However, if we understand Scripture in context, we see that even Jonah understood the conditionality of God’s promise about Nineveh:

  • "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” (Jonah 4:1-2)
Jonah had so hated Nineveh that he would have been glad to deliver a message of Nineveh’s unconditional destruction. However, Jonah knew that his God is one who relents, and therefore, he fled.

Here is another reason why we have to appreciate the entire counsel of Scripture. Any statement has to be understood in context. I often say, “I love chocolate.” While this is true, it doesn’t mean that I always love chocolate. I do not love chocolate after I have already ODed on sugar. I don’t love to eat it when I am nauseous.

Do these exceptions mean that my original statement was wrong? No! It just means that my statement has to be understand within the context of the entirety human experience with its many nuances. No one would call me a “liar” for saying that “I love chocolate” if I declined it when I was nauseous. Instead, they understand that it is perfectly okay to state a generalization without stating each exception along with it.

Let’s take the example of Jesus’ teaching on divorce. In one contest, Jesus taught:

  • "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Luke 16:18)
Does this mean that there weren’t exceptions to the general rule? Of course not:

  • But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32; 19:9).
There is no requirement that whenever we mention a general principle that all of the exception must be immediately mentioned along with it.

Hear is another teaching that requires us to understand the entirety of Scripture. Based upon the Malachi 4:5-6 prophecy of Elijah’s return, John the Baptist was asked if he was Elijah. He answered that he was not! However, Jesus claimed that he was Elijah:

  • For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John [the Baptist]. And if ye are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, that is to come. (Matthew 11:13-14; 17:12-13)
This seems like a contradiction. However, if we understand this claim within the entirety of Scripture’s teaching on the subject, we find that this “contradiction” can be resolved. Evidently, Jesus had taught that John was Elijah only in a spiritual or figurative sense.

This becomes apparent in the Angel of the Lord’s revelation to John’s father, Zechariah:

  • He [John] will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Luke 1:15-17)
It should not be surprising that Jesus had referred to John the Baptist as Elijah in a figurative/spiritual sense. Jesus often taught in this manner. Let’s just take a few examples:

  • "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” (Matthew 6:2-3)
  • "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
  • And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matthew 5:30)
Understanding how Jesus taught allows us to better understand His teaching about John. Paul counseled:

  • Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
It is so easy to incorrectly interpret. Instead, correct Bible interpretation is so foundational to God’s purposes, that incorrect interpretation is associated with not having God’s approval. Let us therefore pray that we might handle His Word correctly!