ch. 7, a long form book response to Disarming Scripture by Derek Flood

Derek Flood has written an excellent book explaining the issues I covered in my blog series this past autumn. My series is titled "Not everything Biblical is Christian." His book is titled Disarming Scripture. Cherry-picking liberals, violence-loving conservatives, and why we all need to learn to read the Bible like Jesus did. It is certainly a mouthful, but his examples are better than mine and deserve a thorough treatment here. Flood's book is ten chapters long and I intend to speak about each chapter in separate blog posts. I heartily recommend this book for the thinking Christian.

Chapter 7 is titled, "God and the state sword." Flood introduces his readers to Anabaptist interpretation of violent New Testament passages. Jesus' instruction to acquire a sword; Paul's instructions about submitting to the government; soldier metaphors for spiritual warfare. If one has not grown up under such theology it is fascinating to learn how an entirely legitimate perspective from your own can be derived from the same pages. It is also humbling to realize honest believers see things so differently.

Every religious tribe has its identity markers. Almost all of them are minor differences. The early church creeds, Apostles' and Nicene in particular lay out the majors. After those, it's all minor. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13, great accomplishments for God mean nothing without love. I appreciate so much the efforts of people like Flood who are trying to motivate us to not only live in love, but the read the Bible, our repository of God's work through a people, to bring a person, to redeem all people, with lenses of his love and compassion for all of us.

This chapter is long and tries to cover a lot of ground across the New Testament. Instead of covering all of them in this blog, I recommend either buying Flood's book or searching for topics like "Anabaptist reading of..."


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