Thanks to IVP Academic for providing me with a review copy of the book. . For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. In recent years scholarly and popular discussion of biblical violence, ethics and war have increased significantly. Conagan’s analysis is nuanced and well worth closer study. In short, it appears the editors didn’t know where to put it and thus created a first section consisting of this essay and the introductory essay.
Conagan point out that this is a common ANE convention (i.e. David Lamb B Downers Grove, Il: IVP Academic, 2013. (See p. And all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel. Alan Bandy

He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. ", "This is an excellent resource for the scholar, student, pastor, or Bible student who seeks to know more about the concept of holy war in the Bible. I could go on, but let this brief interaction with Chapman and Conagan be taken as evidence for the stimulating and quality nature of the essays included in this volume. But that hardly removes the moral problems from the text. 75, no. While the new atheists have often shown their able use of rhetoric, their actual engagement with scripture has been as brutish as the semi-literate high school jock reciting a scene from Macbeth for his English class. The interdisciplinary landscape is broadly reflected in the six sections into which the essays are divided: Part One: “The Challenge of ‘Holy War’ for Christian Morality,” Part Two: “Old Testament Perspectives,” Part Three: “New Testament Perspectives,” Part Four: “Biblical-Theological Perspectives,” Part Five: “Ethical and Philosophical Perspectives,” and Part Six: “Theological Perspectives.”. K . At this point I’ll turn to some further critical interaction with the book’s content. E

the book moves the discussion forward. 7. Holy War in the Bible: Christian Morality and an Old Testament Problem. ‣ Chapman is arguing that God’s only choice to maintain his people and carry forward his plan of salvation, was to command them to slaughter non-combatant women, children and infants.
Now let me round out the essay with two complaints.

No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. (See p. For he is God's servant for your good. ‣ 2. ‣ ‣ The Ultimate Book Deal: My Latest Book for 99 Cents! For he is God's servant for your good. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The Challenge of Holy War for Christian Morality that this slaughter was required to protect the Israelites from the wickedness of the Canaanites. . But surely God could not accommodate the atrocities of  war rape and cannibalism.

Contact me: openbibleinfo (at) L But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. Stephen WilliamsPart 7. 1. Compassion and Wrath as Motivations for Divine Warfare Finally, Chapman proposes his thesis that herem warfare was an accommodation to ANE practices of warfare: “the canonical Old Testament presents war as a time-conditioned, concessive practice at odds with God’s ultimate will for humankind.” (p. 62-3). This book provides helpful biblical, historical, theological, and philosophical reinforcements. Glen Stassen ‣ . Three Essential Elements of Every Christian Apologetic. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. But to suggest that a holy God “is willing to participate in what is profane and wicked” leaves Chapman teetering on the edge of a theological abyss. If there is a foil to which these authors are writing, it would seem to be the new atheist voice represented by the writings of Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris. Downers Grove, Il: IVP Academic, 2013. The challenge of a seemingly genocidal God who commands ruthless warfare has bewildered Bible readers for generations. ", "While God does not need to be rescued from false caricatures, his followers do need reinforcements to withstand the faith-shaking attacks from New Atheists and others.

U Consider as an analogy a much lauded marriage handbook that instructs husbands to beat their wives when they don’t obey. The Joshua Delusion: Rethinking Joshua as Christian Scripture. This section consists of a survey essay titled “Orientation Amidst the Diversity,” and an essay on “Joshua and the Crusades.” The latter essay by Douglas Earl is a fascinating and well researched deconstruction of the idea that historical readings of Joshua served as ideological justification for the Crusades. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, ... “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. P


‣ ‣ Holy War in the Bible: Christian Morality and an Old Testament Problem. Or would he have endorsed a wholly different solution? Daniel Heimbac ‣ 4. Explicitly in Exodus 15:3, we learn that God is called “a man of warrior” or “a warrior,” however, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 6. The God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. Think about that. D Q Did these texts help inspire or justify the Crusades?

And unless a person can argue that raping and cannibalizing soldiers is worse than slaughtering non-combatant children and enemies, this provides us with excellent grounds to believe that God would not have accommodated the atrocities of ANE warfare. 15. His answer is astounding: “God was not able, given the violence of the world, to preserve Israel non-violently….” (p. 64, emphasis added). Should you have a conversation with your inner atheist? Ethical Philosophical Perspectives So while Conagan seem to be saying the extended day didn’t happen, they differ from the old time liberals who simply said the text is wrong. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. .

Why does God apparently tell Joshua to wipe out whole cities, tribes or nations? In his essay “Martial Memory, Peaceable Vision,” Stephen Chapman notes that the purpose of consigning objects and persons to the herem was to protect against idolatry and ensure Yahweh’s sole Lordship: “It was feared that not destroying idols and other holy objects, or incorporating foreign worshipers into the Israelite community, would occasion idolatry or religious syncretism on the part of the Israelites. The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments,… . Ultimately we find in the overarching biblical narrative a picture of divine redemption that shows the place of divine war in the salvific movement of God. ‣ I

Given that the contributors do not always agree with one another, no one should expect to treat this volume as the last word on this complex subject. The Unholy Notion of ?Holy War? Or would he have sided with Earl’s non-historical take on herem as a symbol of separation, purity and holiness?

‣ N The first of its kind, this collection offers a constructive response to the question of holy war and Christian morality from an interdisciplinary perspective.

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