Guest / Limited Access /

Westminster Theological Seminary's board voted to suspend tenured professor Peter Enns last week after a two-year theological debate over his 2005 book, Inspiration and Incarnation.

The board chairman, the president, and the secretary of the board addressed a standing-room-only group of students for about 30 minutes Tuesday morning to discuss the board's decision.

The board voted 18-9 to suspend Enns, an Old Testament professor whose book created controversy on how to interpret the Westminster Confession of Faith, a 1646 document that the faculty must affirm.

"It was made not on the basis of personality, but on the basis of the judgment on the part of a substantial number of the trustees that Inspiration and Incarnation was outside the bounds of the standards of Westminster Seminary, namely the Westminster Confession of Faith," chairman of the board John White told Christianity Today. "The essence of the question is, Does the II book fall within the parameters of the orthodox, Reformed understanding of the doctrine of inerrancy?"

The seminary's personnel committee will make a recommendation at the board of trustees' May meeting to decide whether Enns's position will be terminated. Enns declined to comment.

President Peter Lillback said he supports the board's decision. "Every institution with a theological controversy that impacts its unity is going to have to have a resolution and this is a method to accomplish that," he told CT, declining to comment on specifics of the controversy.

The board vote comes four months after the faculty voted 12-8 that Enns's book falls within the Westminster Confession, a motion that nine trustees supported in their dissent from the board's majority decision.

"We're very disappointed because we think ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueIs the Way Our Cities Are Designed Keeping Us Apart?
Subscriber Access Only
Is the Way Our Cities Are Designed Keeping Us Apart?
How churches can benefit from a lesson in urban geography.
RecommendedJesus’ Family Tree Shows Us He Is Worth the Wait
Jesus’ Family Tree Shows Us He Is Worth the Wait
It's okay that most of us want to skip through the genealogy of Jesus—but we should still read it.
TrendingThe Story Behind Trump’s Controversial Prayer Partner
The Story Behind Trump’s Controversial Prayer Partner
What Paula White’s Washington moment implies for the prosperity gospel’s future.
Editor's PickThe Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
The Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
It begins by recognizing the name above every name.
Christianity Today
Westminster Theological Suspension
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

April 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.