Thursday, April 29, 2010

Christopher Wright at Calvary Church

I found out yesterday that Christopher Wright will be preaching at Calvary Church this Sunday.  We were asked if we could provide a book table with a few of Wright's books.  A little last minute but we happily agreed.  So I pulled out my copy of The God I Don't Understand to refresh my memory of some of its contents.  I quickly remembered one of my favorite chapters.  It was chapter four, "The Canaanites--Three Dead Ends."  The issue of the Israelites' slaughtering the Canaanites has been a perennial problem for Christians but in this chapter Wright offers three proposed solutions which upon reflection are nothing but dead ends.  Those three proposals are:

1)  It's an Old Testament problem, which the New Testament puts right.

2)  The Israelites thought it was what God commanded, but they were wrong.

3)  It is all meant as an allegory of spiritual warfare. 

Views 1 and 2 are really just flip sides of the same coin but he addresses each individually.  He says with reference to the second view:
"But the main problem with this view is that everywhere in the Bible the conquest is never explained away as a colossal mistake; on the contrary, it is anticipated, commanded, achieved, and remembered as something that accomplished God's will." (emphasis his)
"You simply can't surgically remove the conquest alone from the great sweep of Bible history, saying that it was merely the bloody actions of deluded warriors, while leaving all the rest of the story intact within the sovereign will of God.  At least, you can't if you treat the Bible seriously as a whole."  (p. 82-83)
The following chapter provides "three frameworks" in which to understand the conquest.  The God I Don't Understand is a good book for those struggling with some of the tough questions of faith. 

It is a hardcover from Zondervan with 224 pages and sells for $19.99.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I really enjoyed that book. I think mostly because he was willing to admit "I don't understand."

Have you seen his new book, "The Mission of God's People?