theology makes so much more sense when little bunnies show you the way

theology makes so much more sense when little bunnies show you the way October 30, 2013

James McGrath posted the following on his blog about the type of reasoning one often finds among creationists. It is also applicable to certain strands of apologetics concerning Israelite history vis-a-vis the challenges of archaeology.

Plus, they’re cute bunnies.


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  • James posted this in November 2011, and it’s still generating discussion today (literally, there’s an ongoing return to the comment discussion with posts today).

  • Peter Kirby

    Not having read the superscription, I took at as a parable for people reading Nicene theology (or some other construct) into books where it is not explicit.

    • Brian P.

      The pieces don’t fit as well as a puzzle. (Hey Peter, haven’t seen you for years. Hope all is well these days!)

  • For me (and many other people) it is not the challenges of archeology and science which show the Bible to be an errant book.

    What makes it unbelievable is the way the Supreme Being is described in certain texts.

    I give an illustration concerning the origin of monotheism:

    Would you echo my feelings?

  • dangjin

    so false teachers are using inaccurate and non-biblical method to steer believers away from the truth of the bible. McGrath and Enns do not even for one minute consider that the little bunnies were given the wrong pieces. They immediately assume the Bible is wrong because secularists say so and becaue those same secularists give them the wrong pieces to the puzzle.

    What McGrath and Enns ignore or forget is that believers are to be the ‘light unto the world’ the world is NOT the light unto believers. somewhere along the lines they have tossed out that scripture and allowed themselves to be deceived.

  • Zeke

    Peter, I enjoy reading your blog, probably because the arguments you make to the faithful against giving credence to the Bible and scripture are often mirrored by atheists. As an atheist, I continue to remain puzzled however that you continue to base your faith on these same writings that you feel must be interpreted in ways that are clearly at odds with their plain meaning. Cheers.

    • Ludwig Feuerbach

      This is precisely what I argued 150 years ago about ‘the essense of Christianity’! Pete thinks he’s saving Christianity, but sooner or later all such roads lead to me.

  • Rodney

    Your a brilliant man and a fine scholar. It’s a pity that you’ve become so cynical.

    • Collins

      It’s not cynicism to recognize where your own family (I speak here of how I would presume Pete would think of his fellow Christians) has systematically made wholly unnecessary mistakes in their thinking. It’s good news to tell how the world really is. One of the things that kept me holding (at least in my opinion) things at ease in this arena is the idea that “all truth is God’s truth.” That way when I was taking classes in genetics and microbiology in college I wasn’t panicking when I thought pretty compelling arguments were put forward that made me say “wow, neo-darwinism is a pretty dang good theory that describes how the world works.” If we are afraid of trying to find the truth I think it says more about our lack of confidence in God than about our rigorous biblicism. If God really is who he says he is (revealed in Jesus Christ) than I have quite a bit of “proper confidence” that no matter what I discover in the world, it’s really not going to move him off his throne.

      The thing I find the most frustrating in this whole discussion of origins in the Evangelical community is that you have the YEC side functionally saying that the most important part of a belief in God as creator is that it came about as described by their particular, ruthlessly concrete (not truly “literal”), fairly-historically-recent reading of the text. What seems left out in the cold is the idea that “GOD DID IT.” That’s the important part. Regardless of the mechanics, God did it. This would have universally been the idea, I think, held by anyone in the original audience.

      If that’s not good enough, then I think you’re not really arguing about creation anymore. You’re probably arguing about how Scripture works. If people want to talk about that, it’s fine. But they need to be clear about their beef.

      • Collins

        And Rodney, I must apologize, apart from the first couple sentences I was really just responding to the article!

  • Rick

    I get the message of the post, but this is not a perfect word picture. Although scholars have some hard items to work with (texts, archeology), much of the work is not done with concrete sections of a puzzle, but rather speculation about motives and mindsets of civilizations long gone.
    Likewise, scholars do not approach this with 100% objectivity. If one chooses not to believe in the possibility of miracles, for example, then his/her views will be impacted by that view.

    • peteenns

      All people who read the Bible and look into the past speculate, etc.–including those who “just read the text” and decry scholarship. On the whole, I see far greater bias in fundamentalism/evangelicalism. There are certainly exceptions, of course.

      • Rick

        I don’t totally disagree. I was simply pointing out that the picture McGrath used is somewhat misleading when considering what is available and used to reach certain conclusions.

  • Animal

    I see the unmovable bunny representing the guardians of theological centrism and biblical truth-mongers. The unsuspecting bunny represents those of us who question the status quo, the emergents, and those who see things differently. But, we all know, dang it, at least it’s a puzzle.

  • David Sulcer

    To be honest with you this is a horrible caricature of really good archeological work that believes in the authenticity of the historicity of the biblical accounts. In fact this whole humorous approach attempts to make an assumption that has yet to be even remotely proven true in what it implies. It implies that the facts lead totally in the opposite direction of the assumptions (picture on the box) given within the text of Scripture. When in the history of archeological endeavors the pieces of the puzzle do MORE to confirm the historical markers found within the pages of Scripture (the picture on the box) than to dissuade to a totally opposite conclusion (the supposed growing evidence of a more “winnie the poo”-ish picture). Really this is pretty bad Mr Peter Enns.