In this fifth blog on the Canaanite conquest, we'll return to the issue we ended our last post with: some passages suggest that all the Canaanites were annihilated, while others suggest that they were not. What do we do with this? One option is that the Bible contradicts itself. And...
In talking about “Wisdom Literature,” I’m referring to Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. These books focus less on giving us direct commands and instead give us wise sayings to live by. Wisdom Literature pushes us to reflect, and in doing so it forms our character. Each of...

Kill Them All

The Old Testament is filled with various ethical dilemmas, but perhaps the most complex one is Joshua’s conquest of Canaan. God’s command to kill all the Canaanites—men, women, and children—has led Richard Dawkins, an atheistic philosopher, to state The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character...
“I’m glad we worship the God of the New Testament rather than the god of the Old,” said one student before Bible class, “because the God of the Old is a God of wrath, while the God of the New is a God of grace.” I have had many students,...
In light of my recent posts on busyness, it seems fitting to share a few thoughts on rest. Rest can be awful: “How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will...
Yesterday I wrote about the existence of the external world. This is something that every person has to wrestle with. We can’t deny the existence and the form of the world around us, though some have tried. Even those who deny the external world are still forced to live...
The prophetic books of the Old Testament can be tricky. But these are important books, so it’s important that we understand how to read them well. Old Testament prophecy is not what we tend to think it is. Duvall & Hays summarize some surprising facts about the Old Testament prophetic...
Is it ever okay for Christians to use vulgar language? This question is particularly pertinent to me, since my book Charis takes liberties that might offend some people. While the response to my book so far has been good, I’ve received not a few reactions that go something like… “I don’t...
A stereotypical fairytale begins with the words, “Once upon a time.” When we hear these words, something triggers in our brains that tells us, “Oh, okay, so this never really happened.” But the phrase itself would indicate otherwise. Once upon a time actually suggests that this event took place...
Happy Valentines Day! When it comes to dating, Christians are often awkward. Sometimes as awkward as their non-Christian neighbors, sometimes more awkward. One reason that dating can be especially awkward in Christian circles is that we can’t seem to agree on what to call it. Some Christians have mild preferences...
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