Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Enns on Theological Belligerence
Peter Enns recently made a blog post that is worth reading. It's titled "Fear Leads to Anger: Unpacking Theological Belligerence." The piece begins:
"My point: Belligerence in theological discussions is a reaction to a deep fear—typically unperceived—that one’s metanarrative is under threat.
"Let me put that in English: People fight about their views of God because they are afraid of the consequences of being wrong. Being wrong about God is fearful because it destabilizes their way of looking at the universe and their place in it. People tend to fight when frightened this way."
As he unpacks this, Enns responds to various arguments that are offered many times as to why theological belligerence is the right way forward. As he does so he echoes sentiments that I have presented in a number of venues. I feel vindicated in some way as another Evangelical has made the same observations that I have.
I think Enns has "in-house" arguments in mind between fellow Christians and Evangelicals given the harsh response he has received from many in regards to his views on the Old Testament, evolution, and inerrancy. But this essay also has application to interreligious contexts, and helps explain one of the dynamics involved in confrontational encounters between Evangelicals and those in other religions.
The essay is worthwhile for critical reflection by Evangelicals.