Pete Enns

Pete Enns is the Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University. He is a former Senior Fellow of Biblical Studies for BioLogos and author of many books and commentaries, including Inspiration and IncarnationThe Evolution of Adam, and The Bible Tells Me So. His most recent book is The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs. 

  • Adam and the Genome: Some Thoughts from Pete Enns

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    Adam and the Genome: Some Thoughts from Pete Enns | Pete Enns

    Any discussion of the “historical Adam” cannot proceed without taking into account the story of Adam in its ancient context. Read More >

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  • Jesus the Artist

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    Jesus the Artist | Pete Enns

    Speaking in parables is similar to an artist’s craft. They create impressions, whole new worlds of meaning intended to turn old worlds on their heads. Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Summing Up

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Summing Up | Pete Enns

    The discussion over evolution is not always undertaken with the theological trajectories that shaped it in mind, and true progress is hindered as a result.  Read More >

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  • Wesleyanism, Part 5

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    Wesleyanism, Part 5 | Pete Enns

        Scholars do not lead the Church; the Spirit does, working in and through the collective experience of the members of the body, where each one contributes his or her ... Read More >

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  • Wesleyanism, Part 4

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    Wesleyanism, Part 4 | Pete Enns

        In Christian theology, reason is not the neutral and objective guide of theological truth. Instead, reason is informed by and in dialogue with Scripture, tradition, ... Read More >

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  • Wesleyanism, Part 3

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    Wesleyanism, Part 3 | Pete Enns

        One always sees Scripture through the lenses of our traditions, our ability to reason, and our experiences as human beings. One of the great strengths of Wesleyanism... Read More >

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  • Wesleyanism, Part 2

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    Wesleyanism, Part 2 | Pete Enns

        The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is a spatial metaphor for describing how we gain true theological knowledge. Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience—each has i... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Wesleyanism

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Wesleyanism | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns discusses how the theological tradition of Wesleyanism has shaped the science and faith conversation in the evangelical community. Read More >

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  • Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 15

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    Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 15 | Pete Enns

        I would like to suggest one specific area in which a Calvinist approach to Scripture could, in principle, be employed with great profit in moving forward in how Chri... Read More >

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  • Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 13

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    Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 13 | Pete Enns

        What Machen may not have fully appreciated is how the Jewish background of Paul specifically and the New Testament in general can wind up being a theologically reori... Read More >

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  • Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 11

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    Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 11 | Pete Enns

        In fact, when we turn to these Dutch Calvinists, we see that they were actually critical of their own tradition for failure to develop an “organic” doctr... Read More >

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  • Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 10

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    Evolution and our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 10 | Pete Enns

        With Christ, his humanity is essential to who he is. Likewise, the Bible’s “human side” is an essential part of what Scripture is, and recognizing ... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 9

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 9 | Pete Enns

        This may seem like a rather obvious statement from our vantage point, but in Green’s day, reading the Bible in its historical context was a cause of concern fo... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism , Part 7

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism , Part 7 | Pete Enns

        There were three intellectual challenges to Christianity in the nineteenth century: European Higher Criticism, Biblical Archaeology, and Evolution. These issues were... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 8

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 8 | Pete Enns

        Old Princeton was very keen to defend the essential historical value of the Old Testament, but that does not mean that its scholars were oblivious to the need to tre... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism , Part 7

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism , Part 7 | Pete Enns

        There were three intellectual challenges to Christianity in the nineteenth century: European Higher Criticism, Biblical Archaeology, and Evolution. These issues were... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 6

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 6 | Pete Enns

        John Calvin was not a Calvinist. Many of the marks of Calvinism today are theological developments intended by Calvin’s followers to maintain trajectories that... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 5

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 5 | Pete Enns

        We know that the Israelites were not the first to make this deduction, but Babylonian and Egyptian stories were there long before. This, of course, raises the perenn... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 4

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 4 | Pete Enns

        How do the Old and New Testaments relate to each other, especially when we try to respect each in their historical context ? Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 3

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 3 | Pete Enns

        If God wishes to speak to us, he must bridge this gulf by descending into our world and speaking our language. In other words, God accommodates himself to our abilit... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 3

    | Pete Enns
    Blog Post
    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 3 | Pete Enns

        If God wishes to speak to us, he must bridge this gulf by descending into our world and speaking our language. In other words, God accommodates himself to our abilit... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 2

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    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism, Part 2 | Pete Enns

        Calvin sought to respect the context of the Old Testament while also realizing that Christ makes a difference in how one appropriates the Old Testament. This, I woul... Read More >

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  • Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism

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    Blog Post
    Evolution and Our Theological Traditions: Calvinism | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns considers how the theological tradition of Calvinism impacted the science and faith discussion in the evangelical community. Read More >

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  • Theological Traditions and the Dialogue with Evolution

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    Theological Traditions and the Dialogue with Evolution | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns considers how various theological traditions have shaped the science and faith discussion in the evangelical community. Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Good vs. Evil in the Cain Story

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Good vs. Evil in the Cain Story | Pete Enns

    The reason why we are even taking the time to look at how early interpreters handled Genesis is to encourage interpretive self-consciousness and humility on the part of readers today. Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Why Did Cain Murder his Brother?

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Why Did Cain Murder his Brother? | Pete Enns

    Why did Cain kill Abel? What was it that “made” him do it? On one level, the story seems clear enough. Nevertheless, answers to these questions are surprisingly not obviou... Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Cain’s Birth, Part 1

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Cain’s Birth, Part 1 | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns closely examines the “gaps” in the stories surrounding Cain in Genesis 4 and discusses ideas that the ancient commentators formulated in response to th... Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: The Devil was Jealous

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: The Devil was Jealous | Pete Enns

    Understanding the serpent as the devil, however, leaves open a pretty basic question in Genesis: why did the devil want to trick Adam and Eve in the first place? Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Adam and Eve’s Nakedness

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Adam and Eve’s Nakedness | Pete Enns

    During periods of cultural tension, where Jews were trying to maintain their own cultural identity, a naked Adam running around Eden came to be somewhat of a problem. Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Some Thoughts about Eve

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Some Thoughts about Eve | Pete Enns

    The idea that God first made animals to provide a helper for Adam and then, when no such helper could be found, created a woman was hard for early interpreters to swallow. Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Garden Paradise

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Garden Paradise | Pete Enns

    Early interpreters speculated what might be special about this Garden—special enough to have been off limits after Adam and Eve’s transgression. Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: It Was Eve’s Fault

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: It Was Eve’s Fault | Pete Enns

    The Garden story is about something that started right and quickly went very wrong. The forbidden fruit was eaten with lasting effects for humanity. But who is to blame, Adam or Eve? Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: “On the Day You Eat of It…”

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: “On the Day You Eat of It…” | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns discusses Genesis 2—the Garden of Eden story. He begins by discussing the aspects with which ancient interpreters wrestled, recounts their conclusions, and then offers... Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Who is “Us”?

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Who is “Us”? | Pete Enns

    On the sixth day when God created humanity, Genesis 1:26 says something that has attracted the attention of biblical interpreters from early on until today. Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: What about Angels?

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: What about Angels? | Pete Enns

    Angels play a visible role in the Old Testament, but ancient interpreters wondered why nothing is said in Genesis about when they were first created. Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Let There Be Light

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: Let There Be Light | Pete Enns

    What does it mean for God to say, “Let there be light” on the first day of creation when there was no heavenly bodies until day four? Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters, Part 2

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters, Part 2 | Pete Enns

    For some early interpreters, Wisdom was not just the first of God’s works, but actually involved somehow in the act of creation. Read More >

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  • Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters

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    Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns explores how ancient interpreters thought about and solved various issues regarding the Genesis 1 account. Read More >

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  • The Problem with Literalism: Chronicles (3)

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    The Problem with Literalism: Chronicles (3) | Pete Enns

        These examples show that these two historians have very different reasons for writing their histories. Read More >

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  • The Problem with Literalism: Chronicles (2)

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    The Problem with Literalism: Chronicles (2) | Pete Enns

        These two different accounts were not given to us by the Spirit of God in order for us to blur the distinctions and make the two into one. Read More >

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  • The Problem with Literalism: The Books of Chronicles (1)

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    The Problem with Literalism: The Books of Chronicles (1) | Pete Enns

    The problem is that Chronicles and Samuel/Kings both claim to report history, yet they report that history differently—and significantly so. Read More >

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  • The Problem with Literalism: Introduction

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    The Problem with Literalism: Introduction | Pete Enns

        As the logic goes, once you start down the road of not taking the Bible literally, there is no telling where that road will end. Read More >

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  • What Does “Image of God” Mean? Part 4

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    What Does “Image of God” Mean? Part 4 | Pete Enns

    To bear God's image is to live daily in such a way that embodies more and more what that image looks like in the person of Jesus. Read More >

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  • What Does “Image of God” Mean? Part 3

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    What Does “Image of God” Mean? Part 3 | Pete Enns

    We can and should speak of the image of God as marred, incomplete, subject to sin in all of us. The true image of God is only realized in the crucified and risen Son of God. Read More >

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  • What Does “Image of God” Mean? Part 2

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    What Does “Image of God” Mean? Part 2 | Pete Enns

    Psalm 8 informs our understanding of the image of God by describing the high status that humans occupy in the created order.   Read More >

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  • What Does “Image of God” Mean? Part 1

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    What Does “Image of God” Mean? Part 1 | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns discusses what it means to be made in God’s image according to Genesis 1:26-27, which shows that humans are made in God’s image in order to rule over all creatio... Read More >

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  • The Creator is the Redeemer

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    The Creator is the Redeemer | Pete Enns

    "New creation” is an apt summary of the Gospel: Jesus's resurrection is the beginning of a new state of being where “creation” is happening again for those who belie... Read More >

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  • Jesus and the Sea

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    Jesus and the Sea | Pete Enns

    The theological power of episodes where Jesus shows his power over the sea is more fully appreciated when we keep before us the Old Testament “taming the water” theme they... Read More >

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  • The Benefit of Doubt

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    The Benefit of Doubt | Pete Enns

    Like a church bell on a clear winter night, it is in the crisp darkness of doubt that God’s voice carries farther and more clearly. Read More >

    Basics
  • Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the Flood, Part 3

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    Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the Flood, Part 3 | Pete Enns

    To interpret the Genesis flood as a complete global catastrophe is a modern imposition onto an ancient story. Ancients simply did not think of the earth in that way. Read More >

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  • Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the Flood, Part 2

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    Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the Flood, Part 2 | Pete Enns

    Perhaps what is most distinct about the Genesis story is the reason given for the flood. Read More >

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  • Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the Flood

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    Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the Flood | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns examines the Genesis flood story in light of the ancient Mesopotamian flood accounts. Read More >

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  • The Second Creation Story and “Atrahasis”

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    The Second Creation Story and “Atrahasis” | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns explains why the Atrahasis Epic is an extra-biblical creation story that helps us to better understand Genesis. Read More >

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  • Genesis 1 and a Babylonian Creation Story

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    Genesis 1 and a Babylonian Creation Story | Pete Enns

    Found among the ruins was a Babylonian creation story referred to today as Enuma Elish. How people viewed Genesis would never be the same again.  Read More >

  • Israel’s Two Creation Stories, Part 3

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    Israel’s Two Creation Stories, Part 3 | Pete Enns

    One thing that these two stories have in common, though, is their high view of humanity. This distinguishes the biblical creation stories from other stories of the ancient world. &nb... Read More >

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  • Israel’s Two Creation Stories, Part 2

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    Israel’s Two Creation Stories, Part 2 | Pete Enns

    Some think that since Genesis 1 is poetry, it can be relieved of the burden of historicity—while Genesis 2, being narrative, is intended as a literal description of historical e... Read More >

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  • Israel’s Two Creation Stories, Part 1

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    Israel’s Two Creation Stories, Part 1 | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns looks at the discrepancies between the creation stories of Genesis 1 and 2 and argues that there are four good reasons to carefully consider these differences. Read More >

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  • Why We Fight About This

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    Blog Post
    Why We Fight About This | Pete Enns

        Christians feel unsettled because evolution challenges something meaningful and non-negotiable—their scriptural understanding of God, of ultimate reality, of h... Read More >

    Basics
  • Paul’s Adam, Part 4

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    Paul’s Adam, Part 4 | Pete Enns

    Here are three final issues that arise when trying to understand Paul’s use of the Adam story.   Read More >

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  • Paul’s Adam, Part 3

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    Paul’s Adam, Part 3 | Pete Enns

    The bottom line is that understanding Paul’s Adam is a serious scholarly conversation where numerous complex issues have a rightful and necessary place at the table. Read More >

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  • Paul’s Adam, Part 2

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    Paul’s Adam, Part 2 | Pete Enns

    Does Paul’s use of the Adam story actually depend on him not reading it literally?   Read More >

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  • Paul’s Adam, Part I

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    Paul’s Adam, Part I | Pete Enns

    Pete Enns delves into Paul’s views, backgrounds, and culture to understand his views of Adam and the Old Testament and discusses the problems with a "literal" view of Genesis an... Read More >

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  • Adam is Israel

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    Adam is Israel | Pete Enns

    Reading the creation story as a cosmic battle helps us see the Adam story from an fresh angle: Adam is the beginning of Israel, not humanity. Read More >

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  • Exodus, Mt. Sinai and Creation

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    Exodus, Mt. Sinai and Creation | Pete Enns

      Even though the cosmic battle is over, we have not left the creation theme. Think of the exodus as God “creating” a people for himself out of a cosmic battle. ... Read More >

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  • Response from One of Jerry Coyne’s Fleas

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    Response from One of Jerry Coyne’s Fleas | Pete Enns

      The noted atheist and evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne has referred to BioLogos as a flea that needs to be scratched. Read More >

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  • Exodus and the Cosmic Battle (Again)

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    Exodus and the Cosmic Battle (Again) | Pete Enns

    Creation, flood, and exodus are almost versions of the same story: the victory of Yahweh and the salvation of his people. Read More >

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  • Exodus, the Plagues, and the Cosmic Battle

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    Exodus, the Plagues, and the Cosmic Battle | Pete Enns

    It is obviously important to spend a lot of time discussing the scientific data. But it is also important to deal with the biblical data. Why? Read More >

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  • Yahweh, Creation, and the Cosmic Battle

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    Yahweh, Creation, and the Cosmic Battle | Pete Enns

    The more we grasp Israel’s understanding of creation, the less likely we will be to expect from Scripture things it was never intended to deliver. We will learn to ask their que... Read More >

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  • The Firmament of Genesis 1 is Solid but That’s Not the Point

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    The Firmament of Genesis 1 is Solid but That’s Not the Point | Pete Enns

    To insist that the description of the sky in Genesis 1 must conform to contemporary science is a theological problem. It is important to remember that God speaks in ways that people c... Read More >

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  • Science and an Incarnational Approach to the Bible

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    Science and an Incarnational Approach to the Bible | Pete Enns

    An ancient, contextual Bible is not an embarrassment but an indication of how willing God is to meet us where we are--a willingness seen most clearly in the incarnate Lord.  Read More >

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  • An Incarnational Approach to Scripture

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    An Incarnational Approach to Scripture | Pete Enns

    Scripture looks the way it does, with all its bumps and bruises, peaks and valleys, gaps and gashes—to exalt God’s power, not ours. Read More >

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