God Behaving Badly: Part II

Yesterday, I posted Part I of my interview with David Lamb on his excellent book, God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?

Today, we resume with Part II. Be sure to read my closing word at the end of this post.

Frank: Some have suggested that the city of Jericho was already destroyed before the Hebrew people finally settled in Canaan. This is reportedly evidenced by several independent methods of dating the final destruction layers of Jericho.

If true, this is an argument against an accurate historical portrayal in Joshua. The idea being that the Israelites idealized their early historical conquests after the fact. According to Kenneth A. Kitchen’s book, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, by the time of the Exodus, the walls of Jericho would have been little more than the backs of houses that ringed the small settlement. Allegedly, Jericho was largely abandoned at the supposed time of the exodus. What is your response to this?[Continue Reading...]

God Behaving Badly: Part I

Like their predecessors, the “New Athiests” have had a field day with the Old Testament, using it to malign God and cast aspersions on His goodness.

This isn’t terribly hard to do. Just open up Exodus, Numbers, or Deuteronomy and start reading them with a modern-Western-rational mindset.

Enter David Lamb’s compelling book, God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?

Lamb is an Old Testament scholar. And his God Behaving Badly is a fog-clearing piece of work that does a beautiful job defending the God of Creation by shedding light on the perplexities that are generated when modern (and postmodern) minds try to make sense of the Old Testament. David Lamb

God Behaving Badly is written at a popular level, and it’s extremely accessible. Lamb also throws in some comic relief to mix it up. But the wisdom he employs throughout the book is both subtle and helpful.

This is part 1 of a 2-part interview I did with Lamb. Note that I purposely asked him the tough questions that plagued me as a young believer . . . the questions that atheists, agnostics, and Deists love to gleefully throw in the face of Christians. Check out his answers and get the book. [Continue Reading...]

We Put the Puppy to Sleep

In 2009, the Present Testimony Ministry website was renovated and unveiled. The address of the site — PTMIN.org.

Frank Viola

Last week, however, we put the puppy to sleep. That being translated means: we took the website down.

PTMIN.org automatically redirects to this blog now.[Continue Reading...]

The Wish Dream

The following article comes from the book Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It applies to any church, community, or relationship. It is one of the most profound and helpful things that Bonhoeffer ever wrote.

Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung from a wish dream. The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves.

By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world. He does not abandon us to those rapturous experiences and lofty moods that come over us like a dream. God is not a God of emotions but the God of truth. Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should be in God’s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it. The sooner this shock of disillusionment comes to an individual and to a community the better for both.[Continue Reading...]

Standing Against All Odds

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore . . .” 

~ Ephesians 6:13-14

If your foundations are in Jesus Christ, then you can weather the storm. You can endure the crisis. You can walk through the fire. Because you are standing on Him who is the immovable Rock.

Sometimes God will deliver you from trouble. Other times He will deliver you through it.

But resurrection is always on the other side . . . if you stand and endure.

A spiritual (Spirit-led) man or woman is someone who has faced tragedy, who has faced loss, who has looked unbearable and exquisite pain in the face and the worst that life can throw at a human . . . and they have stood their ground.[Continue Reading...]

3 Things That Break the Back of Envy

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy . . . ”

~ 1 Corinthians 13:4

As promised, this post goes along with yesterdays where I talked about the dark side of social media and measuring influence.

A point I left out of that post: The wisest, most spiritual, and most fruitful Christians that I know (personally) aren’t on Facebook or Twitter.

Interesting given the world we live in today, eh?

That said, the subject before us today is envy.

Coveting what others have going for them is still alive and well. And we’re all susceptible to it. No one is immune.[Continue Reading...]

The Peril of Measuring Yourself Against Others

“But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”

~ 2 Corinthians 10:12

Today’s social media has sought to put us all back in high school. Many of us are being tempted to measure our self worth and spiritual usefulness by artificial standards.

Twitter followers, Facebook friends, top blog lists, unique visits, and Klout scores are the new metrics that have replaced making the homecoming court, surviving the sports team cut, and being part of the “cool crowd.”

If you’re a Christian who is seeking to influence others with a message, let me share a few things that may encourage you:[Continue Reading...]

My Spanish Bruthas and Sistas

I love Latin culture. Perhaps because 100% Italian blood fills this clay vessel.

My favorite ministry trip of all time was my second visit to South America. What occurred there in one week was heaven on earth.

Over the past five years, I’ve been asked numerous times when my books will be available in Spanish.

Well . . . after waiting . . . I can now declare that the task has begun.

Three of my recent titles are now professionally published in Spanish.

Frank Viola's Books in Spanish

They are . . .[Continue Reading...]