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…]

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…]