The Violence of the Biblical God

The Violence of the Biblical God[Epub] ➞ The Violence of the Biblical God ➣ L. Daniel Hawk – Heartforum.co.uk How can we make sense of violence in the Bible Joshua commands the people of Israel to wipe out everyone in the promised land of Canaan, while Jesus commands God s people to love their enemies How are How can we make sense of violence of the eBook ¸ in the Bible Joshua commands the people of Israel to wipe out everyone in the promised land of Canaan, while Jesus commands God s people to love their enemies How are we to interpret biblical passages on violence when it is sanctioned at one point and condemned at another The Violence of the Biblical God by L Daniel Hawk presents a new framework, solidly rooted in the authority of Scripture, for understanding the paradox of The Violence Kindle - God s participation in violence Hawk shows how the historical narrative of the Bible offers multiple canonical pictures for faithful Christian engagement with the violent systems of the world.

Is a well known author, some of of the eBook ¸ his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Violence of the Biblical God book, this is one of the most wanted L Daniel Hawk author readers around the world.

The Violence of the Biblical God PDF/EPUB Ó The
  • Paperback
  • 248 pages
  • The Violence of the Biblical God
  • L. Daniel Hawk
  • 20 August 2019
  • 0802872441

10 thoughts on “The Violence of the Biblical God

  1. Bob says:

    Summary A study of the narratives of violence in scripture and the multiple perspectives one finds in the text regarding God s involvement in that violence.The incidents of violence in scripture, and particularly those where God commands, or actively participates in that violence, pose a great challenge for any thoughtful believer both in his or her own reading of scripture, and in discussions with skeptics who point to these passages, and especially the book of Joshua Does not this deeply con Summary A study of the narratives of violence in scripture and the multiple perspectives one finds in the text regarding God s involvement in that violence.The incidents of violence in scripture, and particularly those where God commands, or actively participates in that violence, pose a great challenge for any thoughtful believer both in his or her own reading of scripture, and in discussions with skeptics who point to these passages, and especially the book of Joshua Does not this deeply conflict with the New Testament witness to the love of God in Christ L Daniel Hawk takes a different approach than others who I ve seen address this question who either rationalize the violence of God against the Canaanites, or in various ways argue that it actually wasn t nearly as bad as it appeared Hawk s approach argues that it may beimportant to think biblically than to seek biblical answers p xiv He proposes that one of the reasons there are so many different responses to this question is that the canon itself speaks with multiple voices that do not all agree He seeks to take an approach that sees all of the canon as authoritative scripture without muting portions that are in conflict with others.His work begins with a survey of the approaches taken to this question through church history, and then outlines his own narrative approach, eschewing the quest for a Theory of Biblical Everything p 18 to listen to the biblical narrative in its complexity as it tells in multiple voices the story of God s work to redeem a fallen world that is violent by coming down and entering into that world He traces this through the fall, the slaying of Abel, and the flood as an accelerating death spiral that God sorrowfully brings to conclusion with the flood, while saving both creatures and one human family to begin anew.With Babel, Hawk sees a new approach of a God who comes down, first confusing the languages of those who would make a name for themselves, and then coming down to make great the name of Abram Abraham through whom he begins a redemptive work He consults with Abraham in his plan to violently destroy the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah, and honors his plea for the righteous To stand with Abraham means to stand against others, as in the case of Abimelech, who Abraham had deceived As evident in the deliberation between Abraham and God regarding Sodom and Gomorrah, violence is not a paroxysm of anger but what it means to do what is needed within the context of fallen creation to set things to rights.He then studies the narratives of God s descent into Egypt to break the power of Pharoah that held Israel in slavery Only through violence will Pharoah recognize a power greater than his, and to create a new people through the overturning of the power of Egypt Hawk notes that no emotion or expression of caprice or anger is evident in these episodes, but rather God doing what was needed to deliver and establish this people of the promise, to show God supreme over all other powers The narrative then continues with this new people as he establishes this covenant, deals with the disobedience of his people an incident that evidences God s anger , and the violence that both responds to sin, and yet restores his relationship with the people to whom he has committed himself.Before turning to the text of Joshua, and Israel s conquest of Canaan, he jumps forward to God s assent to give Israel a king like other nations God first commits himself to Saul, and then to David and his family His work in the nation becomes taken up with the power dynamics and violence of these kings while acting as a check against their ungodliness and injustices With the fall of Israel comes an end to this way of working in the world through the instrumentality of the nation as a political entity His approach will still work through human agents but in another way.Finally, Hawk comes to Joshua He contends that exodus and conquest are inextricably connected to God s decision to renew the world by forming a people He states, No exodus, no conquest No violence, no Israel p 165 He demonstrates the focused character of the invasion against the kings of Canaan that arises neither from caprice or judgement to establish a space in which Yahweh alone, and not the gods of the kings is worshiped In this book there are narratives both attributing violence to God and counternarratives in the latter part of Joshua that indicate this is not God s preferred mode of working in the world Hawk notes that while God s coming down and entering into the making of Israel as a nation involves God in violence, this is not a warrant for other wars.With the fall of Jerusalem and the exile, Hawk sees a move of God to the outside Instead of working in and through human systems, God refuses to meet violence with violence, or engage the earthly powers, but takes the violence of the world upon himself in Christ, and in the resurrection, establishes a rule outside the world s systems.The conclusion Hawk reaches from this narrative survey is a call to move from debates over who is reading scripture rightly to a dialogue that listens to the full complexity and the biblical text He doesn t argue for anything goes but sets interpretive parameters that include an understanding of divine violence that doesn t arise from petty caprice, that often God does not use violence in judgment but to accelerate already evident deterioration as in Sodom , that biblical accounts are testimonies, not templates, and cannot be use to justify wars advancing national or group agendas Yet Hawk also seems to recognize that the diverse voices of God s work inside, and from the outside, create the basis for respectful dialogue between Christians who base a peace stance on the narrative of God s work from the outside, and Christians working within the system who face the choice of engaging in state sanctioned violence in the resistance of evil.For me, Hawk s work challenged a long held assumption of how we read scripture Do we believe that the Spirit of God speaks with one voice Or does our understanding of scripture allow for a complexity of voices that reflect the complexity of being both in and not of a fallen world Where one comes down on this may well affect one s response to Hawk s reading What commends that reading to me is that it does not gloss over or mute the hard passages or seemingly conflicting testimony for example, the commands to utterly devote to destruction the Canaanites and a strategy of gradually supplanting the people.More profoundly, we see a God who neither remains aloof in the face of human evil and violence nor acts with petty flashes of anger, but rather a settled purpose to redeem through a covenant people, one that involves God in that violence, yet ultimately ends with the taking of that violence on God s self in Christ We also find in Hawk a model of an interpreter of scripture taking the text as it stands, listening humbly, and promoting dialogue between different perspectives rather than ruling everything not one s own out of court in a Theory of Biblical Everything Such models are all too rare and greatly needed in a time where people seem to polarize around everything.________________________________Disclosure of Material Connection I received this book free from the publisher I was not required to write a positive review The opinions I have expressed are my own

  2. Nathan Long says:

    Here s an example of the kind of statements that challenge one to think carefully To simplify, the Old Testament presents God at work primarily at the center of society, while the New Testament presents God at work primarily at the margins The question, following on this observation, has to do with whether one views the Old Testament as a narrative that must be rejected because it testifies to a failed divine approach or one that displays the messiness and accommodations that must be navigated Here s an example of the kind of statements that challenge one to think carefully To simplify, the Old Testament presents God at work primarily at the center of society, while the New Testament presents God at work primarily at the margins The question, following on this observation, has to do with whether one views the Old Testament as a narrative that must be rejected because it testifies to a failed divine approach or one that displays the messiness and accommodations that must be navigated by those who believe that God still works at the center of power as well as its periphery p 199

  3. Derek DeMars says:

    See the full length review at The preponderance of violence in the Bible often creates a serious stumbling block to Christian faith How could a God of love also sanction so much violence How do we make sense of a Bible in which God tells the Israelites to annihilate all the Canaanites in one place, and then Jesus tells us to love all our enemies in another It s an extremely challenging topic, and a plethora of potential answers have been put forth See the full length review at The preponderance of violence in the Bible often creates a serious stumbling block to Christian faith How could a God of love also sanction so much violence How do we make sense of a Bible in which God tells the Israelites to annihilate all the Canaanites in one place, and then Jesus tells us to love all our enemies in another It s an extremely challenging topic, and a plethora of potential answers have been put forth somehelpful than others.In The Violence of the Biblical God, Daniel Hawk offers a constructive approach that seeks to do justice to the myriad ways in which the Bible depicts divine violence He takes a careful look at the narrative contours of Scripture to determine where we ve misread it and how it should shape a Christian discussion of violence.He concisely reviews other Christian thinkers approaches to the topic, from Marcion and Origen in ancient times down through the Reformers and modern historical critics He also takes a quick look at some representative contemporary writers like Eric Seibert, Jerome Creach, and most popularly, Greg Boyd In response to liberal critical attempts to dismiss the violent conquest accounts in the Old Testament as merely a human invention meant to serve as Israel s propaganda, Hawk rightly points out that we lack any hard evidence to confirm such a theory all we have is the text as it stands, and violence is ubiquitous past the conquest accounts even on into the New Testament 15 16 And in contrast to popular contemporary approaches that assume a radically nonviolent Jesus and pit him against the violent depictions of God in the Old Testament, Hawk wants us to explore the whole biblical story with all of its nuances, progressions, and tensions to arrive at a fully orbed picture of God s relationship to violence when and why he uses it or rejects it how he qualifies it and how working with human political and value systems sometimes necessitates taking a violent approach.This exploration of the biblical narrative occupies the main bulk of the book, where Hawk focuses on the biblical concept of God descending into our broken world in order to work within it and bring about redemption for his creation Hawk draws our attention to five key passages in the biblical story where God is said to come down into the world and willingly become entangled in our violent human systems This divine accommodation prompts God to use violence when it is the only way to further his ends among sinful people who only acknowledge power With each divine descent, God involves his human partnersanddeeply in his plan to save the world But by working in tandem with human agents under a covenant partnership, God must sometimes undertake violent action to protect his covenant partners as they operate in a violent world When Hawk turns to the New Testament in Chapter 8 He points out rightly, I think that many interpreters have been too hasty in reading Jesus as condemning all forms of violence in any context There is nuance in Jesus ethical teachings that must not be bulldozed over What s , one cannot overlook the fact that even after the cross God continues to take violent action in the book of Acts For Hawk, all of this means that we must consider that violence may in fact be quite appropriate in some contexts, given certain parameters set by Scripture and explained in detail in the book s final chapter What we need is a deeper,biblically informed perspective or perspectives on violence that wrestles seriously with the text and rejects a hasty, black and white approach I should mention that some of Hawk s wording throughout the book for example, his depicting God as adapting his approach, or calling things like the Israelite monarchy an experiment on God s part 118 implies that he holds to open theism Even so, the interpretive conclusions he comes to are still essentially in line with what many classical theists would hold to namely, that God saw fit to accommodate his divine ideals in order to work in a broken world, alongside of and through broken people, for the purpose of bringing about redemptive ends I gleaned many fresh insights from Hawk s discussion of the text which have helped nuance my own understanding of God s ways and the role of violence therein The notion that God s decision to work in covenant with a nation entailed participation in nationalistic violence as its suzerain King provides a helpful framework for approaching many difficult OT texts Chapter 5 Hawk s comments on God s hardening of the hearts of Pharaoh and the Canaanite chieftains was both challenging and insightful 80 83 And his chapter on the conquest of Canaan was comprehensive and constructive, laying out the various ways the text itself nuances that particular historical event and invites interpretive openness Hawk s conclusions won t satisfy everyone, but then, part of his point is that there are no easy answers We must all wrestle with the text and the God who speaks therein for ourselves.One weakness of the book has to do not with Hawk s argument but with its presentation Some of the chapter summaries began to feel a bit repetitive after a while This is a minor complaint, but one that s exacerbated by the fact that such space could have been devoted to biblical texts that were regrettably left out of the discussion The book of Revelation s absence was especially lamentable Though I understand the decision to focus only on historical narrative text, I would have enjoyed a longer work that looked at all of Scripture I would love to see Hawk write an expanded edition or a follow up work that incorporates the prophetic books Overall, I benefited greatly from reading The Violence of the Biblical God and would recommend it to anyone seriously interested in the topic Do be sure and read to the end, as Hawk packs a great deal of nuance throughout the discussion before building to some powerful conclusions in the final chapter I personally think his approach is muchhelpful than other recent treatments of the topic that feel shallower andreactionary, especially compared to Hawk s sober and sensitive canonical approach This would make a fantastic textbook on the subject, either for Old Testament studies or Christian apologetics And if you re an interested pastor or layperson, this book will give you much food for thought.Even if Hawk promptsquestions than answers, I believe his work will reward a careful and discerning read I sincerely hope it finds a wide readership

  4. Nathan says:

    Hawk delves into examining not just the instances in the Bible where God is either directly or indirectly involved in violence, but tries to explain the motives behind it Just think for a second of how often you ve wondered at why God would do something or the other, and we re not settling for the most part, anyway with the they were wicked reason The author will likely not have been the first to present God to the reader as a deity that yearns for a relationship with people, but Hawk is Hawk delves into examining not just the instances in the Bible where God is either directly or indirectly involved in violence, but tries to explain the motives behind it Just think for a second of how often you ve wondered at why God would do something or the other, and we re not settling for the most part, anyway with the they were wicked reason The author will likely not have been the first to present God to the reader as a deity that yearns for a relationship with people, but Hawk is adept at putting an interesting slant to it he tracks God maneuvering within covenants, going back and forth on whether or not he should just cause an extinction event and start over again The condensed versions of the stories here put things into perspective You begin to understand or re discover re affirm that we, as a people, are bound for misbehaving and won t stop until we ve screwed everything up God, in his wisdom, must evolve his attempts for a connection, and that sometimes entails war and divine violencesometimes that means that God just needs to go have a breather Hawk makes his own suggestions for why God punished afflicted destroyed throughout the Bible, and also warmly invokes the reader to keep an open mind that, whether or not you re a pacifist or one that would do what was necessary to uphold Christian ideals, that all need to confer, and that there s room at the table for absolutely everyone in this discussion.I ve never had the opportunity to look at the Old Testament at this angle It s been an incredibly valuable read for me, and you re in for a very contemplative and possibly mind blowing read Many thanks to NetGalley and Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Company for the advance read

  5. Paul Dubuc says:

    The violence depicted in the Bible is one of the most difficult and debated aspects of the character of God revealed in its pages The apparent contrast between a God who is loving and caring and one who is wrathful and violent has led some to view the Bible as broken , heavily discounting the validity of some passages in favor of others Others take aapologetic approach, seeking to reconcile or justify the conflicting images on an extrabiblical basis In his new book, Dr L Daniel Hawk The violence depicted in the Bible is one of the most difficult and debated aspects of the character of God revealed in its pages The apparent contrast between a God who is loving and caring and one who is wrathful and violent has led some to view the Bible as broken , heavily discounting the validity of some passages in favor of others Others take aapologetic approach, seeking to reconcile or justify the conflicting images on an extrabiblical basis In his new book, Dr L Daniel Hawk takes neither of these approaches Instead, he provides a biblical narrative that serves as a cognitive framework for a unified understanding of the God who is revealed throughout Scripture Hawk focuses on the canonical text and what it implies, or doesn t imply about the violent episodes in the Old Testament and their connection with the way violence is viewed and experienced in the New Testament It is an approach that needs to be taken into account by other efforts to explain or account for the theodical difficulties found in the Bible.Hawk s narrative reveals a sequence of the ways that God interacts with humanity in Scripture At first working within the confines of fallen human experience, with and through individuals, nations and kingdoms in God s attempt to bring about a life giving and sustainable relationship between himself and humankind Finally, stepping outside those human social constructs to reveal himself personally to the world, he submits to the violent nature of the people he has come to save and accomplishes a final victory over the sin and death that plagues humankind and offers that way of salvation, and inclusion in the work of salvation, to the rest of us Thus God s efforts, and the means he has tried, to restore the originally intended relationship between himself and humankind are written within our own human history not done in secret or apart from human involvement That the process has been, and continues to be, messy is very evident, but also reflects God s persistence of, and insistence on, involving human beings in the process.Several interpretive parameters stem from Dr Hawk s study of the biblical text that would serve to guide our understanding pp 203 208 1 Yahweh s acts of violence do not eminate from the caprice or anger of a petty deity who has taken personal offense and seeks satisfaction 2 In the narrative literature of the Old Testament, Yahweh rarely employs violence to judge other nations Most of his judgement is reserved for Israel in violating the covenant on which their flourishing depends 3 The narratives explored in this book are best taken as testimonies, not templates The episodes for the narrative are points in Gods s story and are not templates to be replicated by readers in their times 4 Expanding on the above, biblical narratives cannot be rightly appropriated to justify wars that advance national or group agendas 5 The narrative thread we have explored offers no justification for retaliatory violence 6 While there may be different views on whether violence can ever bye condoned by Christian believers, there is no question that an orientation toward nonviolence and a critique of the mechanisms and instigators of violence must instead define Christian faith and practice For him this does not necessarily rule out the use of violence as a last resort It is one thing to practice nonviolence, and to be willing to die for one s beliefs It is quite another to make others vulnerable to death for the sake of one s beliefs Dr Hawk s book serves as an important basis for how we think about problems of theodicy without trying to oversimplify the complex nature of God s will and ways in the world This is a very important book I hope it gets a wide and fair reading

  6. Jeremiah W. says:

    Argues that divine violence is productive in fashioning an elect community and punishing it Despite the author s call for ensemble interpretation poor term for interpretive strategies that accommodate different voices, though only within a Christian framework , the perspective conveyed in the book about divine violence, and benevolence, betrays an underlying supposition of a prioritized community at the expense of outsiders, who are at times collateral damage.

  7. J.D. DeHart says:

    Ethical and thoughtful, this book explores an issue that stumps even seasoned theologians I appreciated the level of support and research the author used in constructing this exploration.

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