my podcast interview on the Bible and evolution

Over at The Tentative Apologist, Randal Rauser just posted a podcast interview with me on the Bible and evolution. The interview happened a couple of weeks ago at the Society of Biblical Literature meeting in Baltimore. He jumped me when I wasn’t looking, dragged me into a warehouse, tied me to a chair, and stuck a recorder in my face and told me to start talking.

Oh wait. No. That wrong. That was something else.

Actually, he asked me a few weeks ago if I could make some time for a short interview while we were both in the same place, and I was more than happy to do it. I can’t for the life of me remember what I said, but I am willing to bet it’s nothing out of the ordinary (for me) with a predictable range of reactions sure to come.

For those of you who might not know Randal, he is a systematic and philosophical theologian who studied under Colin Gunton at Kings College, London. He is presently associate professor of historical theology at Taylor Seminary (Edmonton, AB) and has written several books, including You’re Not As Crazy As I Think: Dialogue in a World of Loud Voices and Hardened OpinionsFaith Lacking Understanding: Theology ‘Through a Glass, Darkly’, and The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails.

If anything, I think we need to help Randal think of more creative book titles.

Part two of the interview will air in a few weeks.

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  • Lise

    I listened to this podcast while skinning a chicken and LOVED it. Have you done a TEDx? I think you have some important things to say for an audience that extends outside the evangelical world (as well as to folks within it). God is so much more of a mystery than we can fathom, our experiences of faith are subjective and perhaps God is evolving and/or we are evolving with and in Him. Why wasn’t this talk on the program at SBL?

    Just fyi – there was an article in the newest Journal of the American Academy of Religion entitled, “Creationism in Europe: Facts, Gaps, and Prospects” that may or may not be of interest. Also, I saw on your blog awhile back something pertaining to the texts of terror needing to be viewed in their cultural context and wondered what you think of the hermeneutics of trauma. I find this particular lens helpful (and familiar) yet it seems this analysis only goes so far. Without then addressing what to do with the texts in today’s world (which is rampant with trauma), it just seems an intellectual exercise.

    • peteenns

      Thanks for your comments here, Lise. By the way, your comments on my HarperOne book are not coming into the picture as I make some revisions!

      • Lise

        I was wondering how your book was progressing. The comments aren’t coming into the picture or are? Hopefully, they weren’t too out there! 🙂 I have made progress on my project. The thing is done now and with an agent but I have yet to hear about representation.

        • peteenns

          Yikes, I mistyped–ARE coming into the picture 🙂 Glad you are making progress, too! Glad you have an agent, too. Did you have one before?

          • Lise

            Sent you a FB email in response to this.

  • Patrick

    Haven’t read the book yet, Dr. Enns, but I am sure I will get around to it eventually. I listened to your interview with Randal, and I must say that I am impressed. Many of the answers you gave are ones that resemble what I have acquired in modern day scholarship. One question I have is why more evangelicals aren’t embracing the text the way you describe it. Fear? Ignorance? A combination of both? I am not sure, but I do know that John Sailhammer discusses historicity of the ancient text in the introduction of the book: The meaning of the Pentateuch. From what I remember, it seems as if he reached similar conclusions as you, possibly by a different route. In any case, I commend your highly intellectual answers that are predicated on Theological Mystery. My experiences in life have left me with similar conclusions about God.

    • If you want to get an overview on the book you can watch this


    • “One question I have is why more evangelicals aren’t embracing the text the way you describe it.”

      I listened to the podcast and did not hear a way to “embrace” the text. Rather, it was more of an explanation of how to reliquish the text.

      I believe more evangelicals would be open to embracing evolution and the nonhistoricity of Adam if proponents would explain how these ideas open up and make more sense of the Scriptures. That is seldom done, and it certainly was not done in this podcast.

  • Randal Rauser is truly an amazing philosopher and theologian and the very best evangelical apologist out there.

    He represents the very best that Evangelicalism has to offer.

    I feel preoccupied by the considerable damages creationists (especially young Earthers) are causing to the Church.

    I hope that American Evangelicals will increasingly adopt a more progressive view of inspiration because otherwise the secularization of America will grow quicker and quicker.

    • Please explain what you mean by “a more progressive view of inspiration.”

  • dangjin1

    In he interview you claim to believe God and the Bible but your following words contradict your claims. YOU ARE A LIAR. You do NOT believe God or the Bible. Do the right thing, either repent or remove the word Christian from your title and leave the church

    • Andrew Dowling

      You’re getting boring.

      • I cannot count the number of times I have heard or read I am not a Christian 🙂

  • Bev Mitchell

    Good interview Pete! I was glad to hear your pastoral comments on what to say when, to whom, under what circumstances etc. Not that knowing how to do this is easy, but, as you made clear, it is absolutely necessary. It will be a long road for a number of reasons. It often seems like a spiral staircase with something less than one degree of inclination. Because of work that you, Lamoureux, Sparks and several others are doing, at least we are not going in circles.

    To those who think this interview doesn’t explain everything, well duh! This is why people write books. Sometimes books don’t even explain everything 🙂 Have you actually read “The Evolution of Adam”, or “Inspiration and Incarnation” to name only two? Or even “Genesis for Normal People?” I recommend all of them.