Recommended Reading: September 29

If you read one article this week, engage The Long Theological Shadow by John Ehrett.

For those of you with additional reading time, check out the following selections, gathered from around the blogging world. Happy reading! Continue reading

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Did God Command Genocide?

In Joshua 8:2, Yahweh seems to command the indiscriminate killing of the inhabitants of the city of Ai: “And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behind it.” If this were said today, it would widely be regarded as a command to commit genocide.[1] The severity of the command seems validated by what Joshua records about the battle (vv. 24-25):

24 When Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the open wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them to the very last had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai and struck it down with the edge of the sword. 25 And all who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000, all the people of Ai.

This account—and others like it in the Old Testament[2]—are often viewed as problematic for contemporary Christians. How can a God of love command murder? How can the God who says “love your enemies” have ordered their destruction? These are, in my estimation, entirely legitimate questions worth wrestling with.

In what follows, I hope to breakdown some of the key aspects of thinking through the question of whether or not God commanded genocide and (some of) what that means for Christians today. Continue reading

Recommended Reading: May 12

If you read one article this week, engage Evangelical Gnosticism by Abigail Rine Favale

For those of you with additional reading time this fine Spring day, check out the following selections, gathered from around the interwebs. Happy reading!

Theology and Churchworld

Lessons from the Worst Sermon I Ever Heard by Mike McKinley

Pope Francis, Nondenominationalist? by John Ehrett

Southern Baptist Women Launch Petition Against Paige Patterson by Kate Shellnutt

Miracles and Modernity by Benjamin Winter

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

April Biblical Studies Carnival by Ruben Rus

Gospels and Names by Larry Hurtado

Does Genesis Make Claims about History? by RJS

How Present Technology Changes Our View of Past Technology by Peter Gurry

Worldviews and Culture

“Avoidance Is Not Purity”: An Ode to the Pence Rule by Eric Hutchinson

Should Abused Women (or Men) Stay with Their Spouses? by Roger Olson

The Myth of Disenchantment by Peter Leithart

Empty Hands by Johanna Byrkett