Re: [asa] Re: Peter Enns and the future direction of WTS

From: Denis O. Lamoureux <dlamoure@ualberta.ca>
Date: Sat Mar 29 2008 - 13:08:46 EDT

Hello everyone,
Steve, thanks very much for this post. I will forward it to all
my Sci-Rel students.

This is a sad day for the Church.

My heart jumped when I saw the message below because
I am just finishing a book with a very similar hermeneutic
as that of Peter Enns, which I call an "Incarnational approach
to inerrancy and infallibility." But I push the argument a little
further than Enns in that I explicitly reject the historicity of Adam.

I praise the Lord for leading me to a Roman Catholic college in
a major university. As an evangelical theologian, I would never
have been given the intellectual freedom to think outside the box
if I had gone to a place like WTS. Actually, my denomination
college wouldn't touch me when I got out of school in 97. Seems that
loving Jesus just ain't enough. If one has a PhD in evolutionary biology,
it condemns them to being hermeneutically "unclean" and out of
employment, despite being called by the Lord to be a Teacher.

24 years ago I felt called to open God's Two Books. Any yes, like many,
I started the voyage as a young earth creationist. But along the way
there were a few surprises--Gen 1-11 is not a historical record, and
biological evolution is a FACT. But through the process the Lord Jesus
was right there, front and centre. Sadly, I had to leave my tradition to
find a job.

Now, I can certainly appreciate what the Board of WTS is doing.
Board members are wonderfully committed Christians who share
their terrific professional skills in shaping the direction of a Seminary.
However, they are not skilled to determine the academic competency
or theological orthodoxy of someone like Dr Enns. Too many times,
the Board (and the Constituency) usurps the Holy Spirit inspired office
of the Teacher (1 Cor 12). This has to change. Our calling as Teachers
is to instruct the Board on theology, not for the Board to tell us how to
do theology. Teachers cannot simply be "parrots" of the Board.

Blessings,
Denis

Denis O. Lamoureux DDS PhD PhD
Assistant Professor of Science & Religion
St. Joseph's College, University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6G 2J5
Tel: 780 492 7681 ext.246
Fax: 780 492 8145
E-mail: dlamoure@ualberta.ca
Website: www.ualberta.ca/~dlamoure

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Steve Martin
  To: ASA
  Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2008 2:35 PM
  Subject: [asa] Re: Peter Enns and the future direction of WTS

  At the WTS board meeting yesterday, it was decided that Enns would be suspended at the end of this school year. Here is the letter from the chairman of the board Jack White .

    March 27, 2008

      Thank you very much for your prayers for the special meeting of the Board of Trustees that was held on March 26 to address the disunity of the faculty regarding the theological issues related to Dr. Peter Enns' book, Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. After a full day of deliberation, the Board of Trustees took the following action by decisive vote:

      "That for the good of the Seminary (Faculty Manual II.4.C.4) Professor Peter Enns be suspended at the close of this school year, that is May 23, 2008 (Constitution Article III, Section 15), and that the Institutional Personnel Committee (IPC) recommend the appropriate process for the Board to consider whether Professor Enns should be terminated from his employment at the Seminary. Further that the IPC present their recommendations to the Board at its meeting in May 2008."

      In order to provide the entire Westminster community with a more complete understanding of the Board's decision and to offer an opportunity for questions and dialogue, the Chairman and Secretary of the Board will join the President on campus for a special chapel on Tuesday, April 1 at 10:30 am. Students and staff are encouraged to attend and participate. Following that special chapel, they will hold a separate meeting with the faculty.

      Our concern is to honor the Lord Jesus Christ and assure a faithful witness for Westminster for years to come. To that end, please pray for everyone involved during the next two months.

      Jack White
      Chairman of the Board

  On Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 1:39 PM, Steve Martin <steven.dale.martin@gmail.com> wrote:

    As many are probably aware, Peter Enns' book Inspiration and Incarnation has caused quite the heated dialogue in the reformed community over the last couple of years. I personally found I&I to be extremely helpful, and the more I read of & about Enns', the more respect I have for him.

    Now things might be coming to a head for Enns at WTS. I've been following the story on the net the last few weeks but, being the net, I didn't want to jump to any conclusions or really say anything (I certainly can't add much personally). It appears that today there will be an important board meeting where the "Enns issue" will be on the agenda. Again, it is unclear to me what exactly is being discussed and what the possible outcome will be, but I'm sure this is a very difficult time for Enns, his family, WTS faculty and students, and all the extended WTS community.

    For some brief background on the situation, check out http://sibboleth.blogspot.com/2008/03/tale-of-two-westminsters.html
    and the two links to articles on competing visions for WTS the one from former WTS Prof Davis is VERY long but definitely worth the read. For some interesting links on current & former students that are supporting Enns see: http://saveourseminary.com/, http://greenfieldsbeyond.blogspot.com/2008/03/update-on-situation-at-wts.html, and http://greenfieldsbeyond.blogspot.com/2008/03/upcoming-student-led-demonstration-at.html.

    I'd be interested in comments / reactions from those in the reformed tradition (particularly Presbyterians) who are aware of the situation and/or the historical context of WTS & past church divisions back to the 20's. I'd also be interested in hearing from those that lived through similar controversies (Kline / Van Til etc.).

    --
    Steve Martin (CSCA)
    http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com

  --
  --
  Steve Martin (CSCA)
  http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com

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Received on Sat Mar 29 13:10:30 2008

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