I was unaware that the bible was THE history book?

Obviously, I’ve missed the conversation between the John Piper and Peter Enns and their respective corners. I’ll wait while you guess what side I fall on.


It ignore that the entire narrative of Scripture, and the work of Christ, is not a direct question to God, is to get a lot of things wrong. I would say, dare to say even, that if you do not understand this basic concept, then you are apt to take Scripture not seriously, but wrong. Do you think that an entire book about questioning God would be about not questioning God if we didn’t know the answer to the problem (Job)?

Enns writes,

Piper would need to take seriously the conclusion drawn overwhelmingly by archaeologists that the systematic slaughter of the population of Canaan around 1200 BC did not happen. As with many issues surrounding archaeology, there is further discussion to be had, and I am guessing that Piper will not be swayed but what archaeologists say.

That’s fine. That is nothing new. As a matter of fact, most of us, I thought, knew how to read that. When we find evidence in nature against theology, it is not Scripture that is wrong, but theology (that sounds Augustinian, right?). This is why we are able to adopt evolution of some sort and still hold to a “literal” Genesis 1, because what we know from God’s other book tells us that we haven’t been reading this book correctly.

But, someone has taken offence to this:

No matter what the archeologists say, the Bible says that the conquest happened.

Burk goes on to issue a sort of straw-man-ad-hom all in one –

If your view of scripture is deficient, then it’s no surprise that your view of God’s sovereignty might be deficient as well. Enns falls short on both counts.

How is Enns’ view of Scripture deficient? Because he is able to take real world evidence and follow Christian Tradition, then he must not “believe the bible.” I was unaware that such a demand existed. Paul certainly didn’t require one to “believe the bible” to be saved. His focus on the preaching of Christ and believing the preaching about Christ. Paul also goes further and pits Deuteronomy against Leviticus. Would Burk condemn the Apostle Paul? And what of Jesus? Jesus said some things in the Old Testament weren’t of God, but by man. Does Jesus have a deficient view of Scripture?

Burk is also being rather circular – God’s sovereignty for him is required. This means the bible is true. Because God is Sovereign. Because God is Sovereign, the bible is true. He doesn’t define sovereign here, nor “true.” Instead, I suspect that both are euro-centric theological understandings.

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