The Bible Is More Than a 'Mystery'
Image: Patrick Feller / Flickr
The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Book Title
The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It
Author
Publisher
HarperOne
Release Date
September 9, 2014
Pages
288
Price
$20.93
Buy The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It from Amazon

"The Bible isn’t a cookbook,” explains theologian Peter Enns in his latest book, The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It. “When we open the Bible and read it, we are eavesdropping on an ancient spiritual journey.”

Your response to those two sentences will probably determine your overall response to the book. If you’re sick of seeing the Bible as a legal, formulaic, contractual book of rules and recipes—if you prefer the idea of a complex, challenging story full of puzzles, paradoxes, and plot development—then you will probably love it. If you already know that the Bible isn’t a cookbook, wonder whether anyone really thinks it is, feel like you’ve heard dozens of writers making this point before, and roll your eyes involuntarily at phrases like “ancient spiritual journey,” then you probably won’t.

Personally, I find myself somewhat torn. I really like reading Peter Enns. He is creative, scholarly, witty, and at times hilarious. His writing is easy to understand, and he lays out his case clearly. And despite his troubled personal history with conservative evangelicalism, he critiques it without rancor. More important, although the overall message of the book—that the Bible isn’t a rulebook—is a somewhat overdone attack on a straw-man, his seven chapters each make important points evangelicals have often missed.

Those points, in brief: The Bible is, and functions like, an ancient book (chapter 1). God lets his children tell the story, and what they mean isn’t always what we assume it means (chapter 2). The Old Testament narrates different stories in different ways, with specific circumstances ...

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

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

Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueThe Science of Sinning Less
The Science of Sinning Less Subscriber Access Only
What new research reveals about self-control and willpower.
Recommended
Is Suicide Unforgivable?Subscriber Access Only
Question: What is the biblical hope and comfort we can offer a suicide victim's family and friends? —name withheld
Read in English
TrendingForgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Amid ISIS attacks, faithful response inspires Egyptian society.
Editor's PickThe March for Science Is Willing to Get Political. But Will It Welcome Religion?
The March for Science Is Willing to Get Political. But Will It Welcome Religion?
How evangelical scientists square their place in the global movement.
Christianity Today
The Bible Is More Than a 'Mystery'
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2014

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