Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Review: "Tough Questions About God and His Actions in the Old Testament"
Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.’s, book, Tough Questions About God and His Actions in the Old Testament, is an engaging and thought-provoking book, though it is not exclusively about God’s actions in the Old Testament.
Kaiser looks to engage ten questions or issues:
Is God Wrathful?
Does God ethnically cleanse?
Does God lie?
Is evolution true?
Do Christians need to keep the Old Testament Law?
Does God approve of polygamy?
Does God control Satan?
Is God Omniscient?
Are women biblically able to preach and teach?
Do Christians need to keep kosher?
Kaiser looks at the Scripture and various views and interpretations of the texts, showing which he finds preferable. Though the book is scholarly, yet very readable, I found some chapters a bit murky:
Kaiser argues that Creationism is true, I found the argument never really hitting the ground – and I wondered why he didn’t dogmatically argue for the readers understanding of the word “day”?
In the chapter on the kosher law, Kaiser argues that Christians do not have to keep kosher – well, sort of – no, not really. Well, symbolically…
The chapter I found the most difficult was his chapter on women in the ministry, in which he argues, as I understood him, that the key texts that have been used to say that women are not to be ministers and teachers have been mistranslated and misunderstood by most translations of the Bible and most scholars. This I found rather incredible! However, he did raise some linguistic issues that I am going to pursue on my own to draw my own conclusions.
The initial chapters on war and genocide had excellent, contextual arguments, and it is for them in particular, that I am keeping this book as a reference tool.
I recommend this book to anyone willing to think and test his arguments.
[This review appears on my blog and Amazon.com. I received this book free from the publisher in exchanged for an honest review.]