Friday, January 15, 2010

Let Brotherly Love Continue

I was engaged last semester in some work on Hermeneutics and Scriptural Authority, and was revisiting two fairly recent books, I&I (Peter Enns) and Divine Spiration (Andrew McGowan), and some of the reviews and reaction that have followed in their wake. I've been struck again by the contrasts that can be seen in such reactions. Bruce Waltke's interaction with Peter Enns in WTJ was an example of respectful disagreement. So too the SBET review of Andrew McGowan's book by Rev Kenny Stewart of my own denomination. However, the ugly face of disrespectful jingoism too often raises its head. It is a shame to the evangelical community that Peter Enns should describe Waltke's brotherly approach as 'refreshing'.

Just before Christmas, the Reformation21 attack dogs were off the leash again, with predictable consequences. The authors of such pieces should learn from the brotherly approach of Mr Waltke. We must as God's people refrain from assuming the worst about a brother or sister, when there is absolutely no reason under heaven to do so. Do these people not live in the real world? What is one of the first reasons that unbelievers give for not taking Christianity seriously? Anyone?