been reading and thinking

Sometimes a poorly reasoned book written by an earnest believer can start a ball rolling on reading well reasoned books by other earnest believers, which can cause this earnest believer to earnestly believe a little differently. But it is hard to say, whilst on that journey to the land of "little differently", if one is merely moving to a different view on the same country, or really traveling farther afield. Two of the well reasoned books I've finished are Divine Presence amid Violence: Contextualizing the Book of Joshua by Walter Brueggemann and The Joshua Delusion?: Rethinking Genocide in the Bible by Douglas S. Earl. The Israelite invasion of Canaan with it's incitement to genocide by "God" has always bothered me, as it has many others, and as it should. Taken literally, it's a behavior inconsistent with the command to not kill. I'm leaning toward the idea of hyperbolic language. Earl goes much further than that, but not out of orthodoxy. One point of his that stood out to me is that Rahab the prostitute is rescued from Jericho because of her aid to the spies, and then marries into the Israelite nation. However, both actions, rescue and intermarriage are also strictly forbidden. Yet there is only praise for these actions in the Bible and she is included in David's and Christ's genealogies. Earl is also helpful in showing the example of the early church fathers' hermeneutic  looking for Jesus in al scriptures. When things don't line up, they reason, it's a clue from God to look for the metaphor and past the historical presentation.

Each good book leads me to more I need to read. So I've been laying low on blogging. I'm still reading plenty of blogs, but you have to catch them on my twitter feed @johnumland
In this process I'm going through, I'm enjoying looking for Jesus in the Jewish scriptures. I've also started reading the Anglican Daily Office by email, which is part of the tradition that has seen Jesus in the Old Testament. It's been helpful to my soul. Perhaps it could be for yours too.
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