RBS Tabletalk

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Peter Enns, Jeffrey Niehaus, the Ancient Near East, and Inspiration

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Written by deangonzales

April 11, 2008 at 12:44 am

9 Responses

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  1. Thanks Bob

    Todd Wood

    April 11, 2008 at 2:42 am

  2. I just started to read Niehaus’ book. To the extent that I have read it, I agree with your analysis of the two books. Niehaus’ approach makes sense. Niehaus is more in line with the historic approach at WTS which affirms the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture, rather than Enns who seems to begin by questioning the doctrine of Scripture. I also read an article by Enns in Calvin Theological Journal in which he interacts with the Old Princeton tradition and tries to link his incarnational view with their views on Scripture.

    Richard L. Lindberg

    April 11, 2008 at 2:53 am

  3. […] response is written by the dean of Reformed Baptist Seminary, Dr. Robert Gonzales Jr. and is posted here. I would like to take issue with Dr. Gonzales’s post, especially this portion which he […]

  4. Dean Gonzales,

    First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to respond. I am sure your schedule is busy and thus does not warrant your response, however I am grateful for your interaction.

    I am afraid my answer might not satisfy you. As a student of philosophy I would answer that my ‘ultimate criterion for assessing the validity of any truth claims’ is whether or not that truth claim matches reality. As to how I judge this to be an adequate basis for knowledge (my ultimate criterion for my ultimate criterion), I would respond by saying that this is simply the way that human beings go about assessing the truth or falsehood of any proposition. Therefore, I do not have some first premise from which the rest of my philosophy / theology flows except perhaps, to quote Wittgenstein, “the world is everything that is the case.” Aside from semantic arguments, I doubt that this is at all controversial.

    If you pardon my boldness, I would love to read your own response to this question.

    (This is a response to a comment made on my blog and is posted here for Dean Gonzales’s convenience.)


    June 9, 2008 at 7:55 pm

  5. […] I am here responding to Dr. Robert Gonzales Jr., dean of the Reformed Baptist Seminary. Here is a link to his original post, to which I am […]

  6. […] data from the ancient Near East. I assessed Enns overall negatively and Niehaus positively. See Peter Enns, Jeffrey Niehaus, the Ancient Near East, and Inspiration. Nathanael Smith, a student of philosophy, posted a negative critique of my assessment on his blog […]

  7. I will probably comment at a later date when I have read the post fully, but I would simply say that I am lookng forward to Oswalt’s The Bible among Other Myths: Unique revelation or Just ancient Literature? scheduled for 2009.


    September 15, 2008 at 7:23 pm

  8. Richard,

    Thanks for alerting me to this upcoming book. I’ve appreciated Oswalt’s commentary on Isaiah. I’ll look forward with anticipating to this volume.


    September 15, 2008 at 7:43 pm

  9. “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11

    Paul regularly refers to the Old Testament according to his underlying worldview: “these things happened…they were written…for our admonition…” Their is no ambiguity in the writings of the New Testament concerning the divinely inspired history of the old. If we will ever accurately understand ancient history we must believe in the preeminence of God and His word. This is the starting point for believers no matter what the muddy waters of the archaeological record may tell us. It is appalling that books, like that of Enns, are coming out of “evangelical seminaries” without these foundational and basic biblical presuppositions! Archaeology, while helpful, is an incredibly weak foundation to build our understanding of ancient events and cultures. Even the ancient historical record is consisitently filled with “distorted persectives” which served to boost the ego and power of ruling kings. While the Bible most accurately does explain, for example, why the flood account is found in just about every ancient culture, including the aborigines in Australia! IT HAPPENED! As Noah’s family came off the ark the account was passed from generation to generation. So incredibly cosmic of an event was the flood, that it even survived the serparation of peoples by language and space at Babel (Genesis 11). The divinely inspired account was later given by God and “written down” for us by Moses. How will we ever know the blessed “admonishments” intended in this history if we are caught up in endless debates about the validity of it? Our children are now in a position to teach our seminary professors some of the most basic lessons learned in Genesis… “Who made you? God…”

    Adam Davies

    October 17, 2008 at 7:18 pm

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