a quick announcement about me, and I hope you don’t mind if I **SIT DOWN** first

a quick announcement about me, and I hope you don’t mind if I **SIT DOWN** first May 19, 2014

Dear People,

As many of you know, I’ve been at teaching Biblical Studies at Eastern University since January of 2012, and it’s been both a privilege and a ton of fun.

I wanted to share some news with you. A few weeks ago Eastern University awarded me an academic chair. I am officially the Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies (not yet sure if that means I need to change my birth certificate). This news came as quite a surprise, and I am deeply honored.

I imagine, though, that some of you may have some questions about all this. Here are a few I’ve fielded thus far. Please feel free to add your own.

  • Q. How in heaven’s name did YOU get a chair?
  • A. I was the 5th caller.
  • Q. What exactly is a “chair”?
  • A. Its origins are in ancient Assyria, when, after pillaging a town, the victor warrior was allowed to rest in a “charru.” That custom has carried over to the academic world: professors who terrorize the students best are, in keeping with this ancient custom, given a “chair.” Either that or it’s some sort of a medieval European thing. I haven’t really looked into it, to be honest.
  • Q. Wait…back up…so you’re saying they actually made a conscious decision about this? It wasn’t a clerical error?
  • A. I never said anything about anyone being conscious. That’s your word, not mine.
  • Q. I mean, was there even a vetting process where outsiders were consulted to weigh on your fitness for receiving a chair?
  • A. Yes, but they did it anyway.
  • Q. Since it looks like we all just need to accept this, tell us a bit more. What sort of perks come with the honorable title?
  • A.  Students must stay outside of a 50 foot perimeter. They are no longer allowed to make eye contact, speak with me, or even touch the hem of my robe lest they surely die. I’m also (finally) getting a food taster.
  • Q. Have family and friends treated you any differently now that you have been given this prestigious honor?
  • A. Oh my, yes. My wife,  for example, shows me much more honor. “Hey Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies, if you’re not too absorbed in your own thoughts, do you think you could move your honored hind quarters in here and take out the garbage before it gains consciousness?” Or my offspring: “Hey Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies, get out of my room and stay out.” My dogs seem to be quite taken by the idea, though, judging by how happy they are to see me when I walk in the door. Also, when I wander through the grocery store, people seem to look at me differently. I used to think it was because I wear crocs with white socks and shorts, but now I’m not so sure.

OK, all kidding aside–I am deeply thankful to Eastern for this honor, and happy and humbled to be a part of such a wonderful and welcoming Christian community, where “Faith, Reason, Justice” is not a slogan but a foundational vision and driving goal for Christian college education.


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  • Glenn Peoples

    Many congratulations Peter!

  • Jim West

    that’s really fantastic news peter. heartfelt congratulations!

  • Congratulations

  • brianleport


  • Benj

    Congrats, Pete!

  • Aceofspades25

    Congratulations! 🙂

  • Congratulations!

  • Shakassoc

    O Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies, is it okay for ordinary people to make comments? Just checking.

    • peteenns

      Actually {awkward moment}, no.

      • Shakassoc

        Oh, right: that’s put me in my place (and the Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies in his place). 😉

  • koine2002

    You must read Dave Barry.

    • peteenns

      Dave Barry reads me.

  • Very cool Dr. Enns – it’s been a windy but good road. Thank you for being an example of honest and rigorous scholarship.

    • Klasie Kraalogies

      Windy? As in lots of moving hot air…..? 🙂

  • Dale Williams

    Congratulations to the most entertaining Abram S. Clemens Prof. of Biblical Studies ever chosen!

  • Congrats, oh Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies!

  • Bev Mitchell

    Wonderful news. Congratulations Pete!

  • Tim Sams

    That is great news Peter–er uh I mean, Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies. Can we just shorten it to ASCPOBS? Seriously, great honor, well done!

  • Meredith

    The photo could not be more perfect! It’s exactly how I imagine the chair in your office now looks. 😀

  • Gary in FL

    Very cool. And if this theology-thingy gig doesn’t work out for you, you could take a swing at being the next Dave Barry. 😉

  • Rebecca Hoyt

    Excellent and well deserved. What better way for this honor to be acknowledged but that a large number of your Kindle books suddenly be offered for .99 to 2.99 ? 🙂

  • Well deserved. Judging by the auspicious title, that chair is made out of some high-grain leather. Treat it well and it will give you sitting-enjoyment for years to come.

  • Andrew Lincoln

    Wonderful news, Peter. So very pleased for you.

  • Congratulations, Pete.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Congratulations, Peter!

  • Congrats! Very proud.

  • Rick Schaeffer

    There is only one word for this: Eeeeeeexcellent.

  • GordonKS


  • Eric

    What Pete did not mention is that the Clemens Chair is equipped with locking wrist and ankle restraints, and that the keys to these restraints are held by someone who occupies a chair higher than his own – the department chair. Petitions to lock Pete up can be submitted to the department chair at any time. Fees may apply.

    Glad to have you with us Pete!

    • peteenns

      Way to break the mood, boss.

  • Please NOT the white socks with the crocs! Congrats Peter!

    • peteenns

      My daughters hate it so much when I do that.

      • It will put her off academia for life you know…

  • rvs

    Eastern did a wise thing.

  • Mark K

    Dude! Respect!!