Patheos Peter Enns Blog

By Laura Truax

One of the themes we’ve continued to dance throughout our discussions has been the numbing accounts of OT violence. Sometimes Israel is killing because God told them, other times the Israelites are being killed because God told someone else to do so. Soon we are going to enter into exilic period – where the brutal regimes of Persia and Babylon will enslave the people because of God’s punishment.

Where does it stop? Is there some way of seeing this violence with a different set of eyes? Peter Enns, former professor of Westminister Seminary, and respected OT scholar has some good comments on his blog. ┬áIt’s not an ending point – but it will get you thinking. That’s always a good thing.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2012/07/and-brief-and-lets-hope-final-but-if-i-know-me-probably-not-comment-on-gods-violence-in-the-old-testament

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2 Responses to Patheos Peter Enns Blog

  1. Thanks for this additional resource, Laura. It’s helpful to read Peter Enn’s thoughts about God’s violence. Some of his replies to the comments on his blog are also worth reading. Like you said, this didn’t really answer a lot of questions, but is thoughtful and adds more to my own process of trying to reconcile the raw anger and violence that appear to be part of God’s character with the gracious, agape loving side of God. Once again, I am thankful that we are wrestling together as a church body with who God is and what we are supposed to glean from the Bible’s writers. I’d be pretty despairing slogging through all of this on my own! Sandy Reed

  2. Mary Rodriguez says:

    Thank you for this. I like his questions. So often, I feel the point of the Bible is not so much to answer life questions but to make us ask questions of life. Some of these stories and prophecies of divine violence or purpose make me pause when I quickly jump to a conclusion that God is either on my side or not depending on if I find a parking spot, or if I have a job, or if something extraordinary happens in my life. The Bible seems to err on the side of God’s supermacy, but it also seems to err on the side of God’s overall purpose of good-seeking and love… Overall, I believe it begs us to ask the question: How do I respond and how do I continually question and struggle to avoid becoming too settled and stuck in my ways?

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