Mea Culpa

Close to 20 years ago, the great Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke wrote a favorable review of Inspiration and Incarnation by fellow scholar Pete Enns. Many were surprised that Dr. Waltke would offer a positive review of a book which sought to dumb down the doctrine of the Scripture’s inspiration. The book itself, as well as Waltke’s endorsement, were the occasion of great controversy and dismay. Upon further reflection and an apparently more careful reading of Enns’ book, Waltke published a retraction of his earlier endorsement and offered a critical review in its place. He did the right thing.

I am no Bruce Waltke. But I have found myself in a similar conundrum.

Almost two years ago, on an episode of Mortification of Spin, I offered a verbal endorsement of the book Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by my friend and cohost Aimee Byrd. Many people were understandably confused by my positive, critique-free words of commendation. Since then I have been asked more times than I can calculate why I chose to endorse a book which, for many, contains significant points of concern for those who hold to the biblical pattern of male headship as I do. The questions are entirely justified. 

The question I get most often these days is, “Do you regret endorsing Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood?” In order to avoid any confusion, I will respond directly without any nuance – Yes, I regret it.

My conscience demands that I offer this retraction publicly, since my error was public. I know that some will be quick to respond in anger toward me. I accept that. It won’t be anything new. Others will be frustrated that I have not gone far enough, that I must publish an attack on Aimee Byrd herself. That is something I will not do.

Insofar as my early, positive assessment caused confusion and vexation among my brothers and sisters, I am sorry. I should have been forthright with my reservations and questions. Instead, I chose a way which I thought initially was kind but truthfully served no one well. For that I am sorry.

— Todd Pruitt