Let There Be Violence? (evangelicalism and the dark side of the Bible)

Over at OnFaith, Brandon Withrow has published an article on the growing rift emerging among evangelicals on how to handle the biblical depictions of God as violent. I was interviewed for the piece, along with several others. Early in the article, Withrow observes: Many Christians today are critical of the violence they see in other [Read More…]

God is Bigger than the Bible

Last night I was reading Mark S. Smith’s The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (because I felt like it, that’s why). He opens with a quotation from the 6th c. AD writer on Roman antiquity, Lydus. There has been and is much disagreement among theologians about the god honored [Read More…]

The gospel and the transformation of Israel’s story beyond its borders

In my last post, we looked at what the main point of the Old Testament is. A good time was had by all and lives were changed, I’m sure. Remember, I am not saying that land is “the center” of the Old Testament, but, boy oh boy, it is important. Think about it: where in [Read More…]

And the main point of the entire Old Testament is….

I was taught in seminary and graduate school, as were many others of my generation and several before that, that the OT doesn’t have “a” central point–there’s no central concept around which you can organize the OT. The OT is too diverse for that sort of thing. As soon as you find a theme that [Read More…]

Reading the Old Testament: You Gotta Have Attitude

Christians do not read Scripture for mere historical interest. They read Scripture as members of Christ’s church as a book for Christ’s church, and so ask questions of significance, the nexus between “what it meant” and “what it means.” How one gets from then to now has in my experience proved to be a complex [Read More…]