Behold Your God
The author has combed through Scripture to answer some of the most pressing questions of our modern times. Does God kill? If so, how? Do humans really have free will, with God holding over them the threat punishment if they choose wrong? What is wrong with our concept of "hell"? And many others.
Numerous and unsolveable problems seemed to confront the author at every turn. She prayed earnestly for God to help her understand why. Through research in the word, she began to see what she had missed before, and now she desires to share her insights with you.
Through the word she discovered that God does not kill or destroy, and she found the texts that prove it. As dramatic a departure from conventional wisdom as this is, she can prove what she says.
But if this is true, if God doesn't destroy people anytime, anyplace, ever, then how will the sinner be destroyed? Because the sinner will most assuredly be destroyed.
Take a journey back to those thrilling Bible stories of old--the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Egyptian plagues of Moses' time--and read it with new eyes, and you will find that God does not kill, but sinners perish
No one ever argues that Satan redeems. Yet it has often appeared to us as if God destroys! But those who are wise, who see the problems with the traditional view of a destroying God, will ask the question: How does He do it?
The Bible invariably describes God's destructive acts in terms amenable to human perception. But we have noted the inadequacy of human senses to pick up the whole picture.
The Biblical story of the plagues of Egypt suggests a deeper level of destructive activity than appears visually. Designed to induce Pharaoh to free the Hebrew slaves, the plagues afford another of those puzzling apparent contradictions of Scripture. You will recall they consisted of waters turned to blood, frogs in the land, lice in the land, flies in the land, diseased livestock, boils on man and beast, hail, locusts, and finally death of the firstborn. In each case the language suggests that God, by a personal act, brought these disasters down upon the heads of the hapless Egyptians.
Marvin Moore, Editor, Pacific Press Publishing Association
“You have the unique ability to write about theological issues clearly, simply, and in a way that makes it sound interesting. Your theological writing does not plod — a feat that few writers are able to achieve… You have good ideas and you write with a very clear style… You have the unusual ability to put complex abstract ideas into simple language that the average person can understand, and I can’t tell you how hard we look for people who can do that.”
Robert J. Wieland, Writer/Theologian
Here is the finest presentation of both sides of the ‘does God kill?’ issue, surveying all of the Biblical evidence in an impartial and competent manner… There is no attempt to circumvent plain Scripture evidence, yet the apparent contradictions are handled in the most thorough and reasonable way that I have as yet seen in print. [The author's] work is thought-provoking; she is a responsible and informed theologian; and she writes with an interesting flair. Nothing boring here, nor is the reader wearied by repetition. I would urge anyone interested in the command to ‘fear God and give glory to Him’ to get this book without delay.”
Greg Boyd, Pastor, Woodland Hills Church and Director, Cristus Victor Ministries
Is it possible to believe that the whole Bible is divinely inspired and yet believe that God never engages in violence? Any one with even a cursory knowledge of the Bible would probably answer this with a resounding “No.” The Bible attributes a good deal of violence to God. He sent the flood, had the Canaanites slaughtered, slaughtered the first born son of every Egyptian family, opened up the earth to swallow up a bunch of rebellious Israelites and sends people to hell — to name just a few of Yahweh’s exploits mentioned in the Bible.
But what if (try to keep an open mind) when the Bible says God did these things it didn’t mean he actually did them, only that he allowed them and accepts responsibility for them? It’s not as ludicrous as it might initially sound. I’ve been toying with this idea for several years, recognizing that in Ancient Near Eastern cultures activities could be ascribed to kings and officials whenever anyone under their authority did something. Given that the Old Testament’s central concern is to proclaim Yahweh to be the one sole King and Ruler of the universe — in contrast to Israel’s neighbors who all believed in many gods — it makes sense to wonder how much of this near eastern monarchical language is in play. And I’ve wondered how far this idea could be pushed to help reconcile the God revealed in Jesus Christ with the God that seems to be revealed in the many violent episodes of the Bible.
Well, I just finished a book that pushes this idea all the way (though the author unfortunately didn’t know the Ancient Near Eastern custom I just referred to). The book is called Light on the Dark Side of God [former title] by Marilyn Madison Campbell. (The book was referred to me months ago by a blogger whose name I can’t now recall – but thank you for the reference).
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