Weight-Watchers and Dietary Restrictions in Leviticus: A (Post)-Colonial (Sub)Liminal (Post)Postmodern Neopragmatic Reading of the 2014 Ikea Catalog(ue) [Five Questions for Peter Enns]

Peter Enns is a fellow Patheosian. Ooh, I like that. Patheosian. We also have the same literary agent, editor, and publisher. In spite of that, I’ve never met him. But I’ve admired him from afar. So I’m excited to post this email interview that I conducted with him. 

Enns cover

1. I love your book. You have the rare skill of being able to translate serious biblical scholarship into light-hearted and witty prose. Have you always been funny?

Not really. I had to take classes in funny during college and remedial classes in funny at night school. But after a lot of hard work, it’s beginning to pay off. So let that be a lesson to you young people out there, you can achieve anything if you apply yourself and keep at it.

All kidding aside, I’ve always been a bit of a jokester and it’s gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion, but sometimes it can lead to new insights and growth.

Of course, not everyone laughs at the things that make me laugh. For example, in my new book, The Bible Tells Me So, I compare the rulebook view of the Bible to a fake Chanel bag. Some people might be offended by this, but others – well the humor can disarm people’s defensiveness and open up a dialogue. Humor takes the familiar and twists it just enough that it becomes unfamiliar, so you can see it from a different angle.

Humor can also annoy people, which is my reason for getting up in the morning.

 

2. Are you tired of the Bible? I mean, seriously, do you ever get sick of it?

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Reassessing Marcus Borg

Fellow Patheos blogger Frederick Schmidt has penned an article for the Journal of Preaching about the strengths and weaknesses of Marcus Borg:

Marcus Borg

One: Marc relies heavily on stereotyping of a Christian perspective that, where it exists, is historically representative of a small minority.

I’ve known some of the Christians that Marc uses as a foil for his apologetic, but it is hardly fair to suggest that the kind of thinking he outlines dominated the church until Progressive Christianity came along. The Christian tradition is a global, wide- ranging, and complex phenomenon covering more than two millennia. Protestant fundamentalism is both a relatively recent and relatively small part of that story, even if it looms large in some parts of the United States.20

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Happy Birthday Patheos! (And My Top Ten Posts)

Patheos turns 5 years old today, and I say, Huzzah! As a blogger, I’ve been both on my own and with a host organization, and Patheos has been nothing but good to me. My traffic has grown, I’ve been given great ideas of what to blog about, and I’ve had a ready in my editor, Deb Arca. Since I came to Patheos in 2011, this blog has had nearly a million visitors and over 2.6 million pageviews. That’s been awesome!

I’ve also gotten to know many of the Patheos personnel. The founders, Leo and Cathie Brunnick, are tireless entrepreneurs and cheerleaders. And Leo mixes a mean Patheos Punch. Deb Arca, as I said, is awesome — both fierce and sweet.

Way to go, Patheos!

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Be It Resolved…

There seems to be some hand wringing and teeth gnashing and garment rending in the leftie Christian blogosphere as the year winds down today. Some people are quitting things, while others are pulling in one million pageviews in a day (good for you, Adam!). In other news, dogs and cats are sleeping together. Etc.

Meanwhile, I’m coming off of a month of amazing times of travel, hunting, kids, cooking…and not enough writing. Not nearly enough writing. My book deadline is tomorrow, and I’ll miss it. But the book absolutely needs to get done by the end of January — it will release in Lent, 2015. In other writing commitments, I’ve got a chapter of a book due February 1 (attention, Baker Books, I’ll be late on that one, too). And then I’ll be writing an ebook, A Better Eucharist, to come out on Holy Week.

I’ve got a talk to prep for Christianity21 next week, and a sermon for House of Mercy later in January.

That’s a lot of content to churn out, and I lack the team of research assistants on which “Pastor Mark Driscoll” relies.

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