That other Old Testament

An opportune post in more ways than one.

That Letter From Elijah

I don’t like the Old Testament.  All that violence!

It is a common objection.  Sometimes it is the worthy revulsion of a gentle soul; other times it is the ground of heresy.  Early on, the church had to deal with those who would edit out the uncomfortable parts of God’s Word, and with others who went so far as to posit “two gods,” with the Old Testament the work of a bad one.

In short, I would argue that the violence of the OT makes the Bible more credible.  It is not a string of pleasing fairy tales, but the history of God reclaiming a fallen race, working with us even in our ugliest behaviors.

Human change and progress is messy – we don’t reject medicine just because doctors used to “bleed patients of ill humors,” progressed to the marvels of neurosurgery, then regressed to the abortion racket.


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