Controversial evangelical Bible scholar, blogger, podcast host, and author of The Bible Tells Me So and The Sin of Certainty
explains that the Bible is not an instruction manual or rule book but a
powerful learning tool that nurtures our spiritual growth by refusing
to provide us with easy answers but instead forces us to acquire wisdom.
For many Christians, the Bible is a how-to manual filled with
literal truths about belief about God that must be strictly followed.
But the Bible is not static, Peter Enns argues. It does not hold easy
answers to the perplexing questions and issues that confront us in our
daily lives. Rather, the Bible is a dynamic instrument for study that
not only offers an abundance of insights but provokes us to find our own
answers to spiritual questions, cultivating God's wisdom within us.
"The Bible becomes a confusing mess when we expect it to function as a
rulebook for faith. But when we allow the Bible to determine our
expectations, we see that Wisdom, not answers, is the Bible's true
subject matter," writes Enns. This distinction, he points out, is
important because when we come to the Bible expecting it to be a
textbook intended by God to give us unwavering certainty about our
faith, we are actually creating problems for ourselves. The Bible, in
other words, really isn't the problem; having the wrong expectation is
what interferes with our reading.
Rather than considering the Bible as an ancient book weighed down
with problems, flaws, and contradictions that must be defended by modern
readers, Enns offers a vision of the holy scriptures as an inspired and
empowering resource to help us better understand how to live as a
person of faith today.
How the Bible Actually Works makes clear that there is no
one right way to read the Bible. Moving us beyond the damaging idea that
"being right" is the most important measure of faith, Enns's freeing
approach to Bible study helps us to instead focus on pursuing
enlightenment and building our relationship with God--which is exactly
what the Bible was designed to do.