God of Violence Yesterday, God of Love Today?
Endorsement from David Mitchell, Pastor, Woodlands Church BristolHelen has written a book on one of the most difficult questions Christians face. In it she has managed to be both accessible, compassionate and scholarly as she navigates the tension between a high view of scripture and yet its depiction of God’s apparent actions and decrees in ways which offend our most basic instincts of what is good and loving.
She begins with a really helpful guide to reading the bible well whatever (and wherever) the biblical text is addressing, which I would commend to any serious reader of the bible, especially those coming to it fresh. She goes on to deal specifically with the issues of violence, not just to people; animals are included. She gives really helpful cultural context to hard passages without ducking some of the difficulties and ambiguities that remain even for her.
She invites us foundationally to see Jesus as God’s last word on the issue of violence and to read the Old Testament not just as a foundation for the revelation of Jesus but as sacred texts which He provides the ultimate guide to understanding.