What a week! We met two Saturdays ago and only now am I finally getting around to blogging about it.
Lisa Guinther of Boulder Colorado was kind enough to Skype in and share some of her research with us. She has spent a lot of time digging into questions around what God said and did in the Old Testament; the kind of stuff that puzzles or offends us. How are we to understand the concept “God is love” as we read through the conquest of Canaan, for instance? What about the Biblical view of women? Her paper can be accessed here.
Just how pressing is this issue of the Old Testament God?
To answer that question, consider this. The very day Lisa presented there was also an interview at the Unbelievable? radio show in the UK with the topic, “Did God command genocide in the Old Testament?” (At the bottom of this page is “listen on demand,” you can find the link there.). Furthermore, at Apologetics 315 a video was posted featuring a lecture by Peter J Williams on the subject, “Old Testament & the New Atheists.” Clearly there is something to this subject that seems relevant to today’s audience.
Lisa gave her talk and, after sorting out a few minor technical glitches around audio equipment limitations, we were able to ask questions and share comments. Though it would have been wonderful to have Lisa in our midst, Skype gave us the next best alternative and it worked pretty well. We are definitely looking into repeating this exercise with other experts (and perhaps even inviting Lisa “back,” metaphorically speaking, if she would care to share on other subjects). I wonder what it would take to get Lee Strobel to “visit” us…
Lisa provided a list of references that are useful to wrap your mind around this subject. Other book titles and video links also came up during discussion. These are below.
Paul Copan: Is God a Moral Monster? (2011, Baker Books)
K.A. Kitchen: On the Reliability of the Old Testament (2003, Eerdmans)
Long, Baker & Wenham: Windows into Old Testament History (2002, Eerdmans)
Richard Hess: Israelite Religions: An Archaeological and Biblical Survey (2007, Baker Academic)
Dale S. Kuehne: Sex and the iWorld: Rethinking Relationships beyond an age of individualism (2009, Baker Academic)
Dr. Richard Hess: On the Reliability of the Old Testament “Can We Trust the Old Testament”
All in all it was a wonderful meeting that edified our group immensely. We are grateful to Lisa for taking the time to share her depth of research with us.