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Piper and Enns on Old Testament violence


There's an interesting online conversation going on about how we should interpret God's taking of lives in the Old Testament. John Piper starts things off here; Peter Enns responds here and here. Who do you think gets closer to the truth?

Comments:

1. Inerrancy has only been held necessary for orthodoxy among a minority.

2. The validity of his opinions on other subjects to his validity on this.

I meant "The validity of his opinions on other subjects is tangential to his validity on this."
The strict point Piper made is accurate as far as it goes; Gods Sovereignty does indeed extend to ordaining the end of mortal life. And the authority to carry out an action is logically the authority to deputize. Also, though a tangential note, it must be acknowledged that much of our modern distaste comes from customs of war that were originally meant to regulate Christians fighting other Christians.

At the same time it has long been accepted that omnipotence and omniimperium cannot be expected to extend to willing a contradiction. The impossibility of God telling a lie(on which inerrency must rest) may indeed extend to this matter. Furthermore the assumption that divine error and divine dissimulation are impossible does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that divine allegory is.

But if we are going to be literal, the command according to Deut 20: 16 was not to "kill all humans". It was to kill "everything that breatheth" As that was impossible with any weapon then in existence or for that matter now in existence, one must assume that there does come a point where inerrancy must be taken with a grain of salt.

In any case perhaps it is most safe and most humble to simply not try to interpret it and admit that one does not understand. As some saint said, "the Bible is true; your interpretation may not be."
1. Inerrancy has only been held necessary for orthodoxy among a minority.

2. The validity of his opinions on other subjects to his validity on this.
Peter Enns demonstrated years ago that he has abandoned the inerrancy of Scripture and in so doing, is leading many astray. It is a surprise to me that he was once a professor at Westminster.