5 Things Genesis 1 Teaches About Unity

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Many Christians hotly debate the roles men and women play in church ministry. Yet, ironically, while we’re debating the merits of all the various forms of egalitarianism and complimentarianism (or patriarchal hierarchy), we forget a crucial point in the beginning of Genesis—unity.

1.) Unity in our creation in the image of God—Both males and females are created in God’s image. Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”[1]

The term image likely has in mind a custon that kings in the ancient near east had of putting up images to “represent their power and rulership over far-reaching areas of their empires.”[2] Putting this thought into the Genesis context, this idea of “God’s image” has the idea of representing God’s power on earth. Read more

Concluding Thoughts on the Canaanite Genocide

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The past several blog posts I’ve been discussing the Canaanite Genocide. If you’ve missed my earlier posts, you can catch up at these links: “The Old Testament and Apologetics,” “Is the God of the Old Testament Merciless?,” “An Overview of the Canaanite Genocide,” “The Canaanite Genocide: The Justice of God Viewpoint,” “The Canaanite Genocide: The Evil of the Canaanites Viewpoint,” and “The Canaanite Genocide: The Hyperbolic Language Viewpoint.”

The questions pertaining to the so-called “Canaanite Genocide” are important issues. It is unlikely that any one proposal by itself is the correct solution for no proposal seems to satisfy all of the issues. I conclude with a summary of three key points: Read more

The Canaanite Genocide: The Hyperbolic Language Viewpoint

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The past several blog posts I’ve been discussing the Canaanite Genocide. If you’ve missed my earlier posts, you can catch up at these links: “The Old Testament and Apologetics,” “Is the God of the Old Testament Merciless?,” “An Overview of the Canaanite Genocide,” “The Canaanite Genocide: The Justice of God Viewpoint,” and “The Canaanite Genocide: The Evil of the Canaanites Viewpoint.”

Today, I want to take a look briefly at “The Hyperbolic Language Viewpoint.” Or basically, the idea that the warfare language in the book of Joshua was hyperbolic. It’s sort of a similar idea to language that native English speakers might use today in athletic competitions like “Take him out!” or “Crush them!” We also see a figure of speech when we say the phrase “break a leg!” to an actress for good luck before a production. In these situations, we aren’t expected to take the words literally. So, proponents of this view say the Bible used hyperbolic language here to help drive the narrative. Read more

The Canaanite Genocide: The Justice of God Viewpoint

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The justice and love of God can be described as a paradox. Though not always understandable by finite minds, God is both a God of supreme mercy and supreme justice. His justice demands punishment for sin. However, Eugene Merrill brings up a good point, “Such war was conceived by God, commanded by him, executed by him, and brought by him alone to successful conclusion,” and thus this war was a “holy war.”[1] It was not a war instituted by Moses, Joshua, or the Israelites. Read more

Is the God of the Old Testament Merciless?

canaanite genocideI had the privilege of serving as an editor for the recently released Evangelism Study Bible done by EvanTell and Kregel. I thought the following article taken from the ESB ties in well with this week’s theme.

In his review of the law in Deuteronomy 20, Moses set out specific instructions regarding the conduct of war by Israel. The goal of conquest was not to kill a city’s inhabitants, but to obtain its peaceful surrender and subsequent service as a vassal (20:10–11). Only if a city resisted and fought back were the Israelites to destroy its army and take the city captive (20:13–15). Read more

The Old Testament and Apologetics

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The next few weeks I’m changing themes from misunderstood biblical characters to Old Testament apologetics, specifically looking at some concepts or passages in the OT that often trouble people.

This week I’ll begin by looking at the issue of “the Canaanite Genocide.” In the book of Joshua, God commanded the Israelites to destroy the Canaanite cities and slaughter the inhabitants—including men, women, and children. Stories like this tend to offend our moral sensibilities and may turn away non-Christians from our faith. So, how should Christians respond?

I believe we need to approach topics like this with great care. This includes careful reflection and deliberation as we engage with our culture.

Christmas with an Old Testament Twist

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As the 2014 Advent season begins, I’m excited to explore some of the Old Testament themes pertaining to Christmas.

Check back tomorrow morning to read how Hannah’s song of praise resonated with Mary, and join me throughout the season of Advent as I seek to direct our hearts toward the Christ of the first advent, who promises to return in a mighty second advent.

The Major Divisions of The Old Testament

lightstock_150291_medium_user_4899867Sometimes the Old Testament seems overwhelming doesn’t it? Thirty-nine books probably written over a period of at least 1000 years. Yeah, that’s a lot of information. So, if you struggle to understand how all the parts fit together, you’re not alone.

We hear Sunday School stories from the OT that have helped us learn, but many times they were out of order and nothing was said about how they fit into the overall chronology of the OT. Read more