The Peter Enns Situation

Do you know this story? It’s that one about the conservative Christian school with a Calvinist bent where “you don’t have to be very liberal to be viewed as ‘left’.” A school where faculty have been split (even to the point of a vote), struggling significantly with “persistent faculty disunity” because “several years of faculty discussions had produced an evident impasse.”
The controversy erupts in the Spring & Summer amid concern over “the historic theological integrity of the institution,” and eventually morphs into “something a lot deeper than theology.” Eventually a popular tenured professor is fired (perhaps because of his theology, perhaps because of professional reasons)… giving rise to Facebook protests and write-ups in The Chronicle of Higher Education and local papers.
Sound familiar? No, it’s not that – ahem – school. I’m talking about Westminster Theological Seminary. Maybe their ordeal can be instructive for other schools (not that I know of any) in similar situations?

4 thoughts on “The Peter Enns Situation

  1. Interesting…

    From the article, “The oath requires all faculty members to pledge they will not “inculcate, teach or insinuate anything” contrary to the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith, the core creed of the Presbyterian faith.”

    And from his website, “A tradition with a healthy confessional commitment is one that is not only open to but seeks self-correction through the collective study of Scripture. To do otherwise is to deny functionally the Scriptural basis on which a confession rests.”

    Now I want to go pick up and read his book. Sounds like it might articulate thoughts similar to those I’ve had for a while now.

  2. Same with me. I gather his central thesis, which I concur with, is that in the same paradoxical way we think of Jesus as fully God & fully man, we ought to think similarly of Scripture.

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