The Christian Post:
Theologian Peter Enns believes that some – mostly young, evangelical Christians today – want to rethink what it means to be evangelical but the movement's leaders are resistant to talking about the issues for fear of repercussions.
"People within evangelicalism desperately want to question the very foundations that made evangelicalism what it is, which is, basically, defending the faith, defending the Bible against the bad guys," Enns told The Christian Post in an interview at the Pastorum Live Conference hosted by Logos Bible Software earlier this month.
The Bible raises some difficult issues that these young evangelicals want to talk about, he said. But some "old guard" evangelicals make it difficult to have those conversations. These younger evangelicals don't want to leave evangelicalism, but they want to maintain their evangelical identity while transforming it.
"What they're saying is what some of the bad guys say about the Bible makes sense, whether its evolution, whether it's Canaanite genocide, whether it's human sexuality, whatever. They're saying they want to rethink some of those issues, but they're doing it from the point of view of having a deep connection with the tradition they were raised in. They don't want to just leave it. ... They want to transform and continue the evangelical journey," Enns said.
The biblical studies professor at Eastern University in Philadelphia, Pa., said he has spoken to many fellow theologians who wanted to also address some of the issues that are presenting challenges to evangelical thought, but did not for fear of losing their job.
"I should keep a list of the people I've talked to over the years who were like, 'I'd like to talk about X, but I can't because I'd be in trouble,' because it's all about protecting the system and it's not about saying, 'hey, that's a good point, let's talk about it,'" Enns said.
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