Fascinating book review/essay over at Books & Culture by Susan Wise Bauer. She is reviewing Inspiration And Incarnation: Evangelicals And The Problem Of The Old Testament by Peter Enns and in doing so notes a number of interesting and uncomfortable questions, raised by Enns, that I couldn’t possibly summarize. So please read the whole thing. But I wanted to quote a part of her conclusion because I think it is a powerful statement:
Well, of course it is going to be troublesome, and Enns, who knows the evangelical community well, is perfectly aware of it. But Inspiration and Incarnation makes clear that Scripture, like the Incarnation itself, is a scandal: like Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the wise. It takes ancient and unreal images, like the lion and the lamb together, and demands that we look back on them with faith in the resurrection of Christ. It claims, against all common sense, that this faith will transform the dead pictures into a living hope. It is loaded with problems and imperfections. And it is the Word of God, which means that we must engage in as much prayer as study of Hebrew vocabulary, as much faith as reading up on the history of the ancient world, as much charity (something remarkably lacking in most of the debates over how to read Scripture) as Greek grammar. It means that when an evangelical scholar like Ennsâ€”teaching in an evangelical seminary, a faithful member of his local churchâ€”writes, “There do not seem to be any clear rules or guidelines to prevent us from taking [the process of interpreting Scripture] too far,” we must recognize this as an honest and truthful statement of the difficulties rather than an open door to chaos. It means, in the end, that we must take incarnation seriously.
As I said, read the whole thing. It is most certainly food for thought.