While I have enjoyed this rather faithful telling, I have also been reminded of just how violent and barbarous the OT can be, and some of the acts/commands given by God make me squirm in my seat. What about all those Egyptian babies slaughtered by the Angel of Death because of one pharaoh’s stubborn heart? How many times do we hear the Israelite men yell out “For Israel” before plunging their sword into an enemy’s heart? And its hard to watch the Israelites ruthlessly invade city after city as they take the Promised Land for their God.
Now, I am well aware of the many ways evangelical Christians try to soften these stories, or justify the violence. Still I can’t help but wonder how these portraits of God can be easily reconciled with the portrait of God revealed in the person of Jesus Christ who tells us to “love our enemy” and shows us a way of non-violence in dealing with our enemies.
If you share these feelings then I recommend checking out the honest ponderings of Greg Boyd on this difficult subject. No evangelical scholar is more honest and courageous in working through the complexities of this issue than Boyd (and sure to be controversial). Read this for starters. Love him or hate him, Boyd is not afraid to ask the hard questions that many of us are afraid to admit out loud. Agree or disagree with his conclusions, but don’t accuse him of not wrestling with Scripture in a vigorous and Christocentric way.