Skip to main content

Book: Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament

Full disclaimer: I received this book free from Kregel Academic in exchange for writing this review.

Tough Questions About God and His Actions in the Old Testament

I’ve read several other books by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., over the years. He is a go-to scholar for evangelical America on Old Testament issues. So, I was interested in his latest from Kregel Academic/Ministry, Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament. I was hopeful that this book would become a great resource in pastoral ministry.

The questions are certainly present-day questions, such as “The God of Mercy or of Ethnic Cleansing?” or “The God who Elevates Women or who Devalues Women?” These questions form the chapters, providing the framework for the book. One question/chapter was unnecessary, and that was the last on dietary laws. This question fits into the wider framework of the chapter on Grace/Law, and the space could have been used for another question or issue. One that I would have liked relates to truth, accuracy, and historical records for the Old Testament.

Overall, though, while I find no major errors or issues with this work,. (As if I should sit in judgment on the Old Testament work of someone whose books were used to teach me the Old Testament,) I don’t find anything to commend as a necessary book. Some of the questions are framed as “either/or” and then answered with “both.” Others are answered with a fairly standard concept: whatever God does is right, but what God did then is not something we should assume He is going to command now.

While these answers are essentially accurate, they are not much help in the apologetic or teaching domain. That God ordering judgment on the Canaanites is fundamentally different than jihad in Islam is something I would accept on faith. Kaiser’s explanation isn’t much deeper than that. It presupposes that the Bible is right and the Qu’ran wrong, which is part of Christian belief. (Just as part of Islamic belief is the converse of that statement.)

Do I feel like it was a waste to read this? No, I do not. Kaiser has consolidated here a basic Christian response to the questions he cites. But all-in-all, I don’t think his answers cover the material well enough to work outside of the faith community. There’s just too much that grounds in the presupposition that God is always right.

Again, free book from Kregel in exchange for the review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…