Pete Enns & The Bible for Normal People

How “How the Bible Actually Works” Works with Pete and Jared

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Pete and Jared talk about Pete’s book, How the Bible Actually Works as they explore the following questions:

  • Why did Pete write How the Bible Actually Works?
  • What is the point of the Bible?
  • What does the ambiguity of the Bible teach us about God?
  • What are some examples of different theologies in the Bible?
  • What does the Bible teach us about reading the Bible?
  • How do Jonah and Nahum represent two conflicting theologies?
  • How can the messiness of the Bible actually be freeing?
  • How has the Bible been interpreted throughout church history and what can that teach us?
  • How do our metaphors for God shape how we read the Bible?
  • What are healthy ways to read the Bible?
  • How do we limit ourselves in our readings of the Bible?
  • Why is leaving room for ambiguity in our Bible reading a more responsible way to read the Bible?


Pithy, shareable, less-than-280-character statements from Pete and Jared you can share.  

  • “[The Bible] is a text we get to engage, we don’t control it.” @peteenns
  • “The diversity of the Bible tells us that we’re already seeing within the Bible itself people grappling with what the Bible means.” @peteenns
  • “I actually think at the end of the day, it’s not so much what the Bible means, it’s grappling with what God is like.” @peteenns
  • “We have to be very careful not to impose things on the Bible. All of us do that, I do that, all of us do that. I think we should be at least self-aware of what it is we’re doing.” @peteenns
  • “We do ourselves a disservice by this dominate metaphor of God being a parent and us being children, because I think in a lot of traditions we build theological systems for children and then we don’t allow people to really grow up.” @jbyas
  • “I don’t think God is out to dehumanize us and to keep us just simple people who are afraid to ask questions or afraid to risk.” @peteenns
  • “This whole thing about growing in the faith it involves risk and pain and suffering… and I think just dealing with the Bible is a microcosm of the whole spiritual journey.” @peteenns
  • “I think a tolerance for ambiguity is a very important lesson for all of us to learn from.” @peteenns
  • “Learning to deal with the ambiguity I think forces you into a position of dependence on God in a good way, in a healthy way.” @peteenns
  • “Maybe God is in our midst and values that we’re doing the best that we can and it’s going to be ok. I think the Bible models that for us.” @peteenns

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