PDF DOWNLOAD How the Bible Actually Works á Peter Enns

Graveyard Shift uThe right and it s not as easy as simply following the rulesIf you re struggling to reconcile your Christian faith with the world you live in How the Bible Actually Works will be a helpful and encouraging tool for your journeyBring your sense of humor Disclosure I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion which I always enjoy giving and frankly would have shared for free HarperOnePartnerI came to this book already a fan of author Peter Enns I had already read his book The Bible Tells Me So and I subscribe to and love his podcast The Bible for Normal People with Jared Byas My prior experience with this author led me to expect very scholarly Biblical study shared with dry sarcastic wit and that s exactly what this book was To be fair this book will not be for everyone in fact some will hate this book I recommend it specifically for two groups of people Those who are becoming frustrated in their spiritual journey Why would God say this and then allow that Why doesn t this work the way it s supposed to and secondly to those who have already deconstructed To those who are frustrated I would say It s not just you I grewp as a pastor s kid in a very conservative evangelical denomination and I have spent nearly my entire adult life trying to reconcile what my church says I should believe faith and what actually makes sense logic Enns earlier book The Bible Tells Me So was very instrumental in helping me to find peace in holding the two in tension It IS possible to love Jesus and still GameMaker Studio Book - RPG Design and Coding use your brain and if that s what you are trying to do this book will help you with that Enns entire premise is that the Bible is not meant to be read as a black and white rule book Instead God has givens the sacred responsibility of seeing the overarching purpose of God From the book Jesus is not about teaching correct thinking but realigning minds hearts and motivations to act well to live in harmony with the kingdom of heaven That may mean re interpreting the scriptures for our lives today Enns very thoroughly demonstrates that this re imagining of the scripture is not sacrilegious On the contrary this is how faith has always been done beginning thousands of years ago Here Enns biblical scholarship really shines through especially through his enjoyable and rampant footnotes Now some info for those who have already deconstructed This book could be housed with similar books such as What is the Bible Rob Bell Inspired Rachel Held Evans and Enns own The Bible Tells Me So all of which I have read and appreciated In comparison to What is the Bible and Inspired this book is scholarly and laid out as legal argument ie establishing incremental blocks which build his case slowly but surely I don t mean to say that How the Bible Actually Works is boring because it absolutely isn t In both his books and his podcast Enns does a remarkable job of making scholarship both accessible and enjoyable But it s definitely not as whimsical as What is the Bible nor as lovely as Inspired isIn comparison to Enns prior book The Bible Tells Me So I felt like How the Bible Actually works was hopeful and forward moving Perhaps it s because I was still at the beginning of my deconstruction when I read The Bible Tells Me So but I ended that book feeling as though something had been torn down in me while after reading How the Bible Actually Works I felt like the purpose of the Bible was revived I thoroughly enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it to all who fit into the two above categories While sharing my honest opinion I will say that there are two small things that may have detracted slightlyFirst just know Enns is an over explainer I recognize this easily because I am also an over explainer I m a classroom teacher as is Enns It didn t bother me per se but I definitely noticed it and it may bother others In my mind it s just Enns being very thorough and deliberate Second Enns gives the Old Testament a LOT of acreage in this book and not nearly as much for the New Testament I would have enjoyed expansion on this area of the book Additionally I would have loved it if Enns had included info about the formationcanonization of the Bible and how this idea of re imagination was evident through church history ie 100CE through the 20th century Those topics were outside the realm of this book though Maybe Pete could consider them for his next book TL DR Get this book Over the last couple of years THERE HAS BEEN A PROFOUND SHIFT THAT HAS OCCURRED has been a profound shift that has occurred how we The Diary of Jack the Ripper understand the Bible it s applicability for our day and age and the lasting value that it continues to have Books like Rob Bell s What is the Bible and Rachel Held Evans Inspired have sparked a renewed interested among not just those who have possibly walked away from the Bible or those who struggle with the balance of ancient documents in a modern day world but also among those who are not familiar with the wisdom found within it s pages Pete Enns brand new book How the Bible Actually Works brings continued life to the discussion of allowing the Bible to helps Brendas Private Swing understand the ways of GodLike no one else Ennsses his Real Service uniue ability to dig into the weeds of Biblical information in a way that everyday normal people like myself cannderstand exactly what he is attempting to communicate without feeling as if the depth of information has overtaken them like Crown Mitre uicksand His snark and humor is able to diffuse the tension of harsh critics and cause raving fans to reach for a box of Kleenex to dry tears of laughterMore than anything else one will seldom find such a learned scholar that displays the humility and passion for sacred text that Pete showcases If you re looking for a book that demonizes groups of people attacks believing Christians or belittles those who see things differently How the Bible Actually Works is NOT the book for you This book is filled with compassion and a goal to help readers with the ever present task ofnderstanding a collection of Documents Books And Letters Thousands Of Years books and letters *thousands of years in a 21st century worldThe book does not shy away from the task of grappling with *of years in a 21st century worldThe book does not shy away from the task of grappling with perceived mistakes and varying discrepancies but helps to bring clarification that propels the reader forward on their journey with God and the BibleIn a world that sees reading of the Bible in steep decline this book has the ability to turn the tide and help all of Amagami Precious diary, us recognize that we are on a continual journey to discover who God is and the pages of the Bible demonstrate this path of wisdomNote I did receive a free advanced copy of this book as a part of my participation with HarperOne and the launch team of How the Bible Works. What interferes with our readingRather than considering the Bible as an ancient book weighed down with problems flaws and contradictions that must be defended by modern readers Enns offers a vision of the holy scriptures as an inspired and empowering resource to helps better JAPAN 1/1M3. understand how to live as a person of faith todayHow the Bible Actually Works makes clear that there is no one right way to read the Bible Movings beyond the damaging idea that “being right” is the most important measure of faith Enns’s freeing approach to Bible study helps s to instead focus on pursuing enlightenment and building our relationship with God which is exactly what the Bible was designed to do.

REVIEW How the Bible Actually Works

Why We Need This NowI attend what most would call an evangelical church While there are lots of ways to define that for the purpose of this book s topic my church s statement of belief on the Bible a relatively standard evangelical one goes like this The Bible containing 66 books of the Old and New Testaments is the infallible Word of God written nder inspiration of the Holy Spirit and having supreme and final authority on all matters to which it speaks It is without error in the original manuscripts and contains all the words God intended for His people to have in order to trust and obey Him If I had written this I would have had to cut some parts entirely and add asterisks to almost everything that remained For example Why 66 Not even Christians agree on that and Original manuscripts We don t have those and I thought it was JESUS who was supposed to be the Word of God Shouldn t the Bible just be pointing The Trial of Lizzie Borden us to Him and What does inspiration mean in this case and What did Christians do before they had the Bible Not to mention theestions I have about the Bible s historicity its literal interpretations its ancient pseudo science and its mythology yes mythologyIn summary my relationship with the Bible lately has been complicated at best I suppose this is why no one is knocking down my door asking me to be an elder Not that I m askingThe latest book from Old Testament Scholar and Serious Snark Expert Pete Enns is full of asterisks There s even an asterisk in the title Of course some authors SpecOps: Expeditionary Force, Book 2 use even footnotes than he does but you ll enjoy the diverse flavor of his footnoting styleI read Enns s The Bible Tells Me So Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It recently and it was incredibly refreshing It presented a well needed criticism on the modern evangelical Biblicist reading of the scriptures favoring a informed and realistic approach towardnderstanding what we should or should not try to make the Bible do for Myself Among Others us While that book largely worked on breaking apart the box we ve decided to shove the Bible into this book shatters the mold entirely and showss what it looks like to really se the Bible for its actual purpose which he argues from the title on is to lead s to Wisdom After all he says God is not a helicopter parent He wants s to walk with Him not just cite him in footnotes I am aware of the irony of this analogy having just discussed the value of footnotes Enns analyzes the three features he says are most important to keep in mind as we read the Bible that it is Ancient Like really really old So old that our world is very little like the context of the writers and audiences Ambiguous Even the LAWS aren t all that clear and most of our real work with the Bible is interpreting the meaning behind its ambiguity and Diverse different writers writing at different times to different people for different reasons a theme of both books We know subconsciously that we need to somehow translate the words literally and spiritually into our lives in a relevant way the problem is we don t necessarily know or agree on how to do that I shouldn t say problem here since Enns would say that s part of our job to disagree and debateWisdom Rather Than AnswersSo what are we doing wrong and how should we change it Well first off we probably are doing a lot of things right even if we don t know that we are Enns points out many places where we find ourselves already translating the wisdom of the ancient texts into new contexts for reasons not necessarily imagined or intended by the original authors such as when we worked for the abolition of slavery he goes into detail on this one since it s a good example of contrasting the wisdom argument with the straight a good example of contrasting the wisdom argument with the straight argument I could think of many other examples even within my own evangelical context where people do take the Bible s context ambiguity and diversity into account when applying it wisely to their lives So it s not that we get it all wrong But he takes particular issue with the sort of rule book application of scripture that we see at times which stems from the Biblicist system I ve ote in my church s doctrinal statement above Exalting the Bible as a perfect inerrant infallible and essentially timeless document by which we magically know exactly how to live our lives is to Enns basically like dividing by zero It s far beyond The Robot Lovers useless it s downright impossible If we really want the Bible to beseful to Ancient Magick Conjuration of Power us here in 21st century America or wherever we are we need to add some realnderstanding to the who what when where and why of the Bible s ancient ambiguous and diverse authorship The Bible is not supposed to be viewed like the ran or Joseph Smith s golden tablets as a magical and perfect text written by the hand of God without the hint of fallible or limited human contribution The Bible is very humanand that s OK For the TL DR folksIf I had to summarize the premises and theology of this book it would be1 The Bible was written by men in different places times and contexts for the purpose of describing what God was like in their particular experience context and world times and contexts for the purpose of describing what God was like in their particular experience context and world remember this context is an ancient and limited one 2 As times changed new things about God had to be explored you could go with Enns s term reimagined or if that s too ncomfortable perhaps just re learned or revealed and this very process is modeled in the Bible as we look at the changing times and modeled in the Bible as we look at the changing times and of its authors 3 Christianity itself is such a reimagining of the old texts that it takes Real Love us well beyond the limits of the old faith Not Your Father s Judaism into something new that God is doing 4 Reading interpreting debating and learning from the old texts ie the Bible itself tos is our sacred responsibility and we can only do it if we seek wisdom rather than easy The Rhetoric of Reaction uotable certain answers The Bible doesn t provides with answers it just helps The Ghost Light Kids Get Hooked us seek Wisdom which is how we walk with God in our time place and situation5 We shouldn t attempt to make the Bible fit together by explaining away or torturing conflicting passages or contradictions instead we should recognize its diverse portraits of God over time and context and recognize the wisdom that leadss to find God s portrait for our own time place and life Heretics and Ripping Off the Band AidEnns does not set out to destroy the Bible in any way That is sometimes a feature of non Christian biblical scholars whose scholarship we should NOT dismiss nonetheless and I think the most conservative reader may feel threatened as Enns riffs on the revelations of modern scholarship and what logical ends they lead to I remember being a bit jarred when I found out in The Bibl. Controversial evangelical Bible scholar popular blogger and podcast host of The Bible for Normal People and author of The Bible Tells Me So and The Sin of Certainty explains that the Bible is not an instruction manual or rule book but a powerful learning tool that nurtures our spiritual growth by refusing to provide Grey (Fifty Shades, us with easy answers but instead forcess to acuire wisdom For many Christians the Bible is a how to manual filled with literal truths about belief about God that must be strictly followed But the Bible is not static Peter Enns argues It does not hold easy answers to the perplexing Triumph (TriAlpha Chronicles, uestions and issues that confronts in our daily lives Rather the Bible is a dynamic instrum. How the Bible Actually WorksE Tells Me So that scholarship points toward the Canaanite conuest as being mostly a legend rather than straight history Biblical archaeology aside when an inerrantist view comes across new scholarship or factual challenges the first reaction is We Love You, Charlie Freeman usually defensiveness But if modern scholarship has given fundamentalist evangelicalism a wound Enns rips the band aid off and tellss how to heal Enns is rather disarming precisely because he accepts and conducts modern scholarship and merely incorporates those new revelations into a well informed faith While an inerrantist would either double down or lose their faith entirely Enns shows The Messy Accident (An ABDL Story) us how to be well wise about how we readnderstand interpret and apply the Bible to our lives today He puts it this way We should be very careful to avoid two extremes The first is looking down on this ancient view of God violent tribal one of many as simply wrong The other is elevating this view off the pages of history of taking it as timeless and correct because it s in the Bible We respect these sacred texts not by taking them as the final word on what God is like but by accepting them as recording for It Looks Like This us genuine experiences of God for the Israelites and trying tonderstand why they would describe God as they do By not expecting the Bible to do something it s not designed to do even if we d really really like it to we can freely embrace our own responsibility to seek out what Wisdom looks like and thus what God look like in our particular context here and nowCriticisms and StrengthsIs this book infallible haha No My main criticism is probably amplified because I m already a fan of his other work there are many parts in the book where his roundabout and wandering style causes him to repeat himself a lot He reasserts his thesis dozens of times and numerous phrases risk beating a dead goat for how many times they appear Many points are twice as long as they probably needed to be Fun Fact There are exactly twice as many words in the title as there are chapters in the bookThis happens in the first half of the book and is less noticeable as the examples are fleshed out It s probably obvious after reading The Bible Tells Me So since in these books together he argues this point against rule book hermeneutics at length The book itself is ite easy to read nlike most books by actual bible scholars so in spite of the roundabout style and dry German humor you ll have plenty of fun while learning a lot The cartoon y graphics and maps at the beginning are worth a good long look and really set the tone for a fun but still legitimate journey in Bible scholarship The chapter titles and subheadings alone are worthy of a book recommendationUltimately though the strongest and most valuable parts of the book are the specific examples that not only show where we might have misapplied or misunderstood a text but where we were probably completely in the dark about the origins and original intent of a text I learned for example just how important an event the exile was for Israel s identity and faith I also learned how much of the OT is written from the perspective of Judah who were exiled later than Israel and some of whom returned The Judaism that finishes writing the OT writes the Apocrypha and gives birth to the New Testament s Christ movement is all descended from that small remnant of Judahites that return from exile I knew this to a point but never realized just how deeply affecting this is when it comes to Plants Used by the Indians of Mendocino County, California (1902) understanding the texts their origins and their purpose NT Wright does a good job of showing this also but I ve only just started reading his booksIt s in the specific examples that I can have conversations with my conservative evangelical friends We can both approach the conflicting portraits of God and Ninevah found in Nahum and Jonah for example and while my friend might try to harmonize them I can discuss how a diverse reading actually helpss make sense of God not only in that context but in how I can know Him today When someone says the Bible has all the answers I need I can perhaps point to the arguments preached by my anti abolitionist ancestor in the 19th century who derived from the text that God supported slavery and opposed abolition When my friend asks where our final authority comes from on who God is and how we should live we can sually agree that the answer is Jesus not some ambiguous reading of the Bible We won t always agree on what the Bible teaches and Enns *Doesn T Think We Have To Rather We Have The *t think we have to Rather we have the to seek Wisdom sing the Bible as an ancient ambiguous and diverse example but not as a timeless and inerrant rule book Recognizing the Bible for what it is frees s to learn Wisdom rather than grasp at rote or nmoving answers After all Pharisees may write and enforce rules but Disciples walk humbly unmoving answers After all Pharisees may write and enforce rules but Disciples walk humbly the source of Wisdom Note that this is a person not a book Disclosure I received an advance reader copy of the book from HarperOne as a member of the Launch Team in exchange for an honest review You can pre order the book before its Feb 19 2019 release at peteennscomhow the bible actually w First of all I am part of the launch team for How the Bible Actually Works by Pete Enns so I received an advance reader copy from HarperOne I have engaged with Pete How we approach the Bible is perhaps the most critical issue facing Christianity today After decades of falling in line behind the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy people are leaving the church in droves because the tension between the world in which we live and this hard line approach to the Bible is too great Churchgoers are finding that1 The The Riddle of the Yellow Canary usual explanations for Biblical contradictions are intellectually inadeuate when you dig beyond the surface and challenge the pat answers given by popular authority figures2 The topics of evolution same sex relationships and women s roles are being treated like elephants in the room to be gingerly skirted around at best3 They feel as if they can t call themselves Christian any if they don t linep behind the right answers being given from within the church How the Bible Actually Works helps to cut this tensionIt aims to demonstrate that the Bible actually works to lead people into wisdom the ability to act right for our time place and situation instead of being a static never changing rule book Enns accomplishes this Inside the Asylum using his insightful knowledge as a Biblical scholar in a way that s clear and easy tonderstand As a bonus his dry sarcasm and aptly placed footnotes will make you involuntarily chuckleThis wisdom approach to the Bible invites readers to accept a sacred responsibility Enn s terminology to discern. Ent for study that not only offers an abundance of insights but provokes Plastic us to find our own answers to spiritualestions cultivating God’s wisdom within Where Poppies Grow us“The Bible becomes a confusing mess when we expect it to function as a rulebook for faith But when we allow the Bible to determine our expectations we see that Wisdom not answers is the Bible’s true subject matter” writes Enns This distinction he points out is important because when we come to the Bible expecting it to be a textbook intended by God to gives nwavering certainty about our faith we are actually creating problems for ourselves The Bible in other words really isn’t the problem; having the wrong expectation is. ,