A Time to Keep Silent, and a Time to Speak
by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min. *
One of the most defining and demanding statements that our Lord Jesus made about Himself remains an inescapable truth to this day:
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
Without question, Jesus considered His message to be exclusive of all others. Either this statement must be embraced in its entirety, or it must be rejected in its entirety—there is no room for "interpretation." If we as Bible-believing Christians truly affirm that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate and that His gospel is, in fact, the only remedy for a sin-dead and fallen world, then we are also under heaven's authority to confirm and endorse Christ's message—to the exclusion of all others.
As a result, we also bear the obligation to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3) and sometimes to "reprove, rebuke, and exhort" (2 Timothy 4:2) those who would denigrate and cast doubt on the very words of God. Identifying false teachers and false prophets has always been a part of the mantle of responsibility for those who are given leadership roles in the Kingdom (e.g., Titus 2:15).
There are caveats to such responsibility. One who identifies a false matter must "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) and when confronting another who claims to share faith in the Lord Jesus we are to "admonish him as a brother" (2 Thessalonians 3:15), seeking always to "restore" rather than to remove. However, when restoration to truth is refused by a "Bible authority" who insists—in spite of great evidence to the contrary—that the words of Scripture are not to be taken at face value or that the revealed message of God is subject to sinful man's editing and opinion, then it becomes incumbent upon godly leaders to speak out against such arrogant and heretical teachings.
Such is certainly the case with Protestant theologian Peter Enns of the Biologos Foundation (www.biologos.org)—a group that believes evolution is an indisputable fact. Over the course of his career in theological education, Dr. Enns has become known as an "expert" in his area of study. He is certainly an intelligent man and professes love for and belief in Jesus Christ. But in recent years he has found himself at the center of theological controversy due to his beliefs and subsequent writings on the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, causing, for instance, irreconcilable turmoil at and separation from Westminster Theological Seminary, ending his 14-year teaching career at the school.
Now a Senior Fellow at Biologos, Dr. Enns devotes much of his time to lecturing on theology and writing scholarly essays that routinely cast doubt on the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, the literal concept of Bible interpretation, the historical existence of Adam and Eve, and other fundamental facts in the Bible. At the beginning of 2011, he released a new Bible story curriculum with Peace Hill Press in which he states, for instance, that the subject of sin should not be taught to children. This is disturbing for parents who love the Bible.
However, the aberrant teachings of the Biologos scholars have not gone unnoticed amongst evangelical theologians, and a number of them (e.g., Dr. Al Mohler, Dr. John MacArthur, etc.) have taken these views to task, hoping to warn Bible-believing Christians to beware of wayward theology. I myself have been open in my rejection of the efforts of Biologos, Dr. Enns, and others like him who would dare to defy the Creator and His message of ownership, reconciliation, and redemption so carefully revealed to us in the Scriptures.
Recent efforts in the homeschooling community to squelch public scrutiny of Dr. Enns' teachings are alarming. Removing a nationally-known and highly-respected defender of the Bible like Ken Ham—one who truly supports the efforts of Christian homeschooling—reveals the sad state of today's homeschool movement.1 Given the same scenario in the first century, Jesus would have been "disinvited" from speaking at these conventions, and certainly the apostle Paul for naming names, as he did in his epistles.
These short-sighted actions by homeschool organizers now run the risk of dividing and dismembering much of what has made Christian homeschooling effective. No doubt those parents who love the Word of God will think twice before investing their precious resources in similar events in the future. Perhaps this incident provides a crucial opportunity for reflection, renewal, and hopefully a recommitment amongst homeschool leaders everywhere.
The organizers of these events have a choice: to resolutely and openly declare themselves and their conventions to be uncompromisingly Christian or to announce that they no longer will characterize their work as founded on the teachings of the Bible.
It really is as simple as the Lord Jesus said: "No man can serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24).
* Dr. Morris is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on March 24, 2011.