want to read an excerpt from The Bible Tells Me So? (of course you do)

want to read an excerpt from The Bible Tells Me So? (of course you do) August 7, 2014

TBTMSThe release of my upcoming book The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It is now less than a month away, and I know many of you–millions of you, perhaps billions, who can really tell after all?–are experiencing all sorts of emotional and physical symptoms while waiting to get your hands on it.

To help prevent permanent injury or lengthy hospital stays, HarperOne has just made available an excerpt of the book on Scribd.

Included in the excerpt are the table of contents and a portion of chapter 2, “God Did What?!” where I look at the always troubling, never comfortable, issue of God ordering the extermination of the Canaanites.

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  • David Pitchford

    Ahhhhhh! How could you cut it off right before the explanation!? Now I have to get the book!

    • peteenns


  • Anthony

    I’m not biting. I already pre-ordered the book and will try to resist… the temptation… errrr….

  • Daniel Merriman

    Kindle version is only $12.74

  • AlanCK

    Couldn’t help but see the title and think of Christian Smith’s “Bible Made Impossible”

    • peteenns

      Not really, although I think we are aiming at generally the same target.

  • I think what needs to be emphasized is the sins that caused the flood.

    see Appendix 25 from the Companion Bible

    >>So that “after that”, that is to say, after the Flood, there was a second irruption of these fallen angels, evidently smaller in number and more limited in area, for they were for the most part confined to Canaan, and were in fact known as “the nations of Canaan”. It was for the destruction of these, that the sword of Israel was necessary, as the Flood had been before. <<

    Jesus saw the Pharisees and Sadducees as the Canaanites of His day.

    Mat 3:7, 12:34, 23:33, Luke 3:7

  • AtTheInfiniteJoel

    I’ve just decided to buy this book. I like the tone, it’ll be accessible to the typical christian layman, who is exactly the kind of person that needs to read this.

    • peteenns

      Just the kind of people I am aiming for!

  • Mike H

    If you could please upload the next 50 pages. Thank you.

    • peteenns

      No. Buy them, along with the rest of the pages.

  • Mark K

    Dude. That’s just cruel.

  • Darryl Stringer

    Ok, I’m buying.

    • peteenns

      How many can I put you down for?

  • What’s a brother gotta do to get an advanced copy? Want to read it, badly.

    • peteenns

      send me an email and I’ll get you in contact with the right person at HarperOne

  • toddh

    I have a couple quibbles with it already, but that’s how I know it will be good. I like a book that will make you think, and maybe you won’t agree with all of it. Like other commenters, I appreciate the breezy, humorous style. Looking forward to it!

    • peteenns

      Quibbles?! How dare you. Back in OT days I’d have you stoned.

  • Randy

    Personally, I have no problem with either one, but that’s just me.

  • Andrew Dowling

    Love the conversational writing style Peter; I plan on getting this as someone’s early Christmas present . . after I read it first, of course 🙂

  • rjsm

    Oh this is going to be a fun one! Pre-ordered! Hey wait if Benjamin is getting an advanced copy, I want one too!

  • jdh

    Hmm. It is intoxicating to run rampant discussing the hard questions from 360 degrees. Bill Maher could have probably gotten to the point in one paragraph. I think I understand B. strategy–‘not all Christians are idiots, we get the questions.’
    Love conversational style too. Author is a practical theologian, which are some of the best minds in the church. Curious to see his solutions, which will hopefully be more substantive…and better edited. BUT, I like this guy.

  • Scott Skiles

    I’m not a theologian nor an academic, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. So I believe that qualifies me to say how GREAT this excerpt is. My wife is not allowing me to buy another book until I’ve finished ONE of the books I’ve recently purchased. I know — such a BLATANT violation of biblical based marital authority, but I’m not willing to cross her and end up like a Caananite myself. (Did I mention I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night?) I’ll be ordering this book in a couple of days.

  • Appo

    Will you have discussion questions like you did with your Genesis book?

    Also, are you familiar with Adam Hamilton’s book Making Sense of the Bible.

    • peteenns

      No study questions. It’s not that kind of book. Yes, I read Hamilton’s book. his is much broader in scope. I dig deeper into fewer issues from the perspective of a biblical scholar with a more focused agenda: let the Bible be the Bible, and not a “rule book” “owner’s manual” or “set of instructions for life.”

      • ajl

        How do you see this working as a small group or book club? GNP was fantastic for that. I took people through that, and would like to do it with this book.

  • Andy

    I really liked this and will get the book. I find the marketing interesting. Commendations by Rachel Held Evans, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Tony Jones, Phyllis Tickle… It sounds like a who’s who of progressive/ emergent Christianity… It was nice to see the Tony Campolo quote on there as well. I just really hope that ‘mainstream’ (sorry can’t think of another word to explain) Evangelicals and Pentecostals read this book. Have you had much feedback from many evangelical/pentecostal pastors that still have their evangelical approvals intact? Was your hope to give people who were feeling uncertain a faithful way forward with scripture or was it to open up conversations with Christians generally? Do you have any thoughts on engaging this book within our churches for those of us still attending churches with conservative views?

  • Daniel Fisher

    “What Jesus means by ‘hell’ isn’t worse than what God did to the Canaanites….”


    You may want to explain that to the rich man in Jesus’ parable that was in such torment that he was begging for a single drop of water for his tongue, begging that someone might warn his brothers to escape this wrath…

    Or tell it to those people Jesus describes as cursed, entering into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels… I imagine that, being tormented in an everlasting and unquenchable fire, it will be a great comfort to at least remember that what they are experiencing is not worse than what God did to the Canaanites…

    Seriously, Jesus’ concept of hell can’t be so easily explained away by the suggestion he was ‘only’ speaking of Gehenna, given his use of other terms and descriptions such as Hades, eternal fire, weeping and gnashing of teeth, etc.