A sad day for Westminster (Peter Enns)

Peter Enns will be suspended: Conn-versation; Shibboleth; Christianity Today blog [unfortunately, the Conn-versation link had to be taken down – collateral damage.]

For Background: Shibboleth – A Tale of Two Westminsters, Power or Theology, and statements by Westminster church history professors: D. Clair Davis (retired): The Significance of Westminster Theological Seminary Today (long PDF) and Darryl Hart (current): Can Westminster Seminary Put the Genie Back in the Bottle? (A candid account of the competing visions)

Petition in support of Enns (123 comments to date).

**Collected Links, reviews of Inspiration and Incarnation, interviews and both sides of the controversy (Brandon Withrow). This is probably the best “one-stop-shop” for both background and recent updates.

UPDATE (Tues. 1 April 2008): I’m surprised at how many hits this particular posting is still getting, especially since others are far more “in the know.” However, since people are still stopping by, I thought I would add a couple more interesting links that I’ve come across in the last few days.

Westminster’s Board of Trustees comments on situation at their website (here)

B. B. Warfield on the divine and human elements of scripture (reposted by Michael Pahl – Mon 31 March).

Michael Bird on the challenge for Biblical Scholars among Reformed Theologians

there are some theologians who have a system that simply cannot cope with the historical and cultural contingency of the origin and development of the Christian Bible. For them, to use ancient near eastern writings, Greco-Roman texts, or second temple literature to assist in biblical interpretation is supremely offensive. The two issues here are: (1) Do theologians take the historical content and context of the Bible seriously? And (2) what are the boundaries of Reformed confessionalism?

See also: Biblical Criticism and Confessionalism

The Chairman of the Board’s letter (Originally posted by Daniel Kirk, I think).:

March 27, 2008

Thank you very much for your prayers for the special meeting of the Board of Trustees that was held on March 26 to address the disunity of the faculty regarding the theological issues related to Dr. Peter Enns’ book, Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. After a full day of deliberation, the Board of Trustees took the following action by decisive vote:

“That for the good of the Seminary (Faculty Manual II.4.C.4) Professor Peter Enns be suspended at the close of this school year, that is May 23, 2008 (Constitution Article III, Section 15), and that the Institutional Personnel Committee (IPC) recommend the appropriate process for the Board to consider whether Professor Enns should be terminated from his employment at the Seminary. Further that the IPC present their recommendations to the Board at its meeting in May 2008.”

In order to provide the entire Westminster community with a more complete understanding of the Board’s decision and to offer an opportunity for questions and dialogue, the Chairman and Secretary of the Board will join the President on campus for a special chapel on Tuesday, April 1 at 10:30 am. Students and staff are encouraged to attend and participate. Following that special chapel, they will hold a separate meeting with the faculty.

Our concern is to honor the Lord Jesus Christ and assure a faithful witness for Westminster for years to come. To that end, please pray for everyone involved during the next two months.

Jack White
Chairman of the Board

4 thoughts on “A sad day for Westminster (Peter Enns)

  1. GLW Johnson says:

    Tell me -did Enns have anything to do with your views on inerrancy?

  2. Ben says:

    A lot of people had something to do with my views of inerrancy. My father, an RTS grad, taught hermeneutics at a small Bible college while I was growing up, so I knew a lot more about inerrancy than most kids. Inerrancy featured in my studies at Wheaton and Trinity and in my own personal study for ten years before I ever took a class at Westminster. So there is a long line of professors from all over the spectrum of the debate to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude. From Westminster, this list includes Gaffin and Poythress, whose classes directly addressed inerrancy. (Add to that authors of books on Scripture, hermeneutics and inerrancy, and the list grows.)

    Enns helped deepen my understanding of the Sacred Scriptures in their original contexts (and languages) and helped me grapple with Apostolic hermeneutics. He also helped expand my appreciation for a big God who spoke and still speaks authoritatively through his written Word.

    I would hope that everyone’s views of inerrancy are the result of careful study of the Scriptures in their original contexts, critical thinking, and humble prayer for God’s guidance.

    Why do you ask?

  3. […] A sad day for Westminster (Peter Enns) « Ben Byerly’s Blog Says: March 28, 2008 at 2:24 am […] sad day for Westminster (Peter Enns) Peter Enns will be suspended: Conn-versation; Shibboleth; Christianity Today […] […]

  4. […] (with other links) here, here, here, and here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Not your average day in the […]

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