As another week approaches there is a controversy swirling around the home school movement, regarding Dr Enns, that may have gone unnoticed by many of you. It is not solely about Young Earth Creationism ( YEC ), although that is a part, or Old Earth Creationism ( OEC ), but about the inerrancy of Scripture and how we deal with such disputes in the church and the ministries surrounding it. What sparked this debate was The Great Home Schooling Conventions board deciding to rescind ( fire ) Dr. Ken Ham’s and Answers In Genesis’ ( AIG ) invitation to speak at their conferences due to Dr. Ham’s comments regarding Dr Enns.
Dr Enns and Old Testament Myth
but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Dr Enns, who wrote the 2005 book, Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problems of the Old Testament, which emphasized the human nature of Scripture over and against the divine, was another speaker at the conference being held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr Enns also has written that the Genesis accounts are firmly grounded in ancient myth, which he has defined as:
“ an ancient, pre-modern, pre-scientific way of addressing questions of ultimate origins in the form of stories. “
While doing this he has not clarified what in the Old Testament Scriptures, most notably Genesis, can be viewed historically or if any of it can. He has went on record as saying that God placed errors in the Bible by design and has therefore redefined the concept of inerrancy. He has been videoed saying that Adam is in the Old Testament and the Apostle Paul should have left Him there. These statements, among others, is what Dr. Ham had issue with and spoke about publicly.
Dr. Ham Responds to Peter Enns
Dr. Ham and AIG are well known for their literal and historical perspective of the book of Genesis, Biblical inerrancy, and YEC which has led to many other controversies of their own through the years. As seen previously these two views are in stark contrast to each other. Dr. Ham listed in His blog some other statements by Dr. Enns that are problematic. They include:
“ In my last post I suggested that the Adam story could be viewed symbolically as a story of Israel’s beginnings, not as the story of humanity from ground zero. “
“ There is also considerable external evidence that works against the ‘ just read it literally’ mentality “
“ This is a problem because it is at odds with everything that we know about the past from the natural sciences and cultural remains “
Our Origins In Doubt?
These statements made by Dr Enns are in truth a departure from what many consider the Historic and orthodox Christian Faith and Dr. Ham should be applauded for saying as much. Our origins play a vial role in who we are ( created in God’s image ), what is wrong with humanity and this world ( The Fall, subsequent Curse, and original sin ), and where we are going ( The Triumph over sin by the Promised Seed, the Messiah ). Any attack upon them is an attack upon God and what He has revealed to us through His Word. Adam was not simply a mythological or symbolical concept formed by the authors of Scripture and found in the Old Testament, but is an integral part of our understanding of theology. Adam is found in such diverse places as:
I Chronicles 1:1 he is listed in the Genealogy from the beginning
Hosea 6:7 God tells Israel they have transgressed the covenant just as Adam did
Luke 3:38 He is listed in the Genealogy of Christ
Matthew 19:4 Jesus said in the beginning He created them male and female ( an allusion to Adam and Eve )
Romans 5:14 details that death reigned from Adam
I Corinthians 15:45 the first man Adam became a living soul
1 Timothy 2:13 for it was Adam who was created first
Jude 1:14 chronicles Adam in another genealogy
These Scriptures were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and as such we should take seriously what they say.
Defending Dr Enns
To defend their decision the Convention issued a statement saying:
“ Dr. Ham was removed for his spirit and not for his message….Dr. Ham’s spirit toward our attendees was not gracious. Dr. Ham’s spirit toward other speakers was unprofessional…Our board takes seriously the admonition of Jesus in John 13:35 , “ By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another. “
This in a nutshell is their reasoning behind Dr. Ham’s dismissal from the current and all future conferences, but what of the Conference board’s cherry picking and salvaging scripture to justify their expulsion of Dr. Ham and AIG? The Board evidently takes showing love seriously but they do not take discernment as seriously ( 1 John 4:1 ), or to be wary of wolves ( Matthew 7:15, Acts 20:29 ), or our admonition to judge righteously ( John 7:24 ). Should we commit the future of the home schooling movement to such individuals?
Will the dominant view become one of liberal theology with a low view of Scripture or will we strive to present the Truth as revealed by God through His Holy Word? My wife and I are Christian home schooling parents and as such this issue lands directly in our front yard. If high profile speakers such as Dr. Enns are allowed to disseminate their views to unsuspecting parents what will become of the next generation of children using there curriculum?
We are called to be salt and light, to both preserve our culture and to expose the darkness within by using a righteous judgment. By rightly dividing the Word of Truth we can discern errant doctrines and the danger they present the Body of Christ. Dr. Ham exposed the views of a major conference speaker, Dr Enns, and for his pains was expelled from the conference. Dr. Ham and AIG should receive heartfelt applause and given all our support for their efforts to hold to the fundamental truths of the Bible.
What do you think? Should the conference re invite AIG and Dr. Ham? Should home schooling parents remove their support of the Conference? Is this all a much ado about nothing?
God bless and Keep the Faith