The challenge of a seemingly genocidal God who commands ruthless warfare has bewildered Bible readers for generations. The theme of divine war is not limited to the Old Testament historical books, however. It is also prevalent in the prophets and wisdom literature as well. Still it doesn?t stop. The New Testament book of Revelation, too, is full of such imagery. Our questions multiply.
These controversial yet theologically vital issues call for thorough interpretation, especially given a long history of misinterpretation and misappropriaton of these texts. This book does more, however. A range of expert contributors engage in a multidisciplinary approach that considers the issue from a variety of perspectives: biblical, ethical, philosophical and theological.
While the writers recognize that such a difficult and delicate topic cannot be resolved in a simplistic manner, the different threads of this book weave together a satisfying tapestry. Ultimately we find in the overarching biblical narrative a picture of divine redemption that shows the place of divine war in the salvific movement of God.
"The articles, on the whole, are in dialogue with salient scholarship, and the footnotes will serve as fertile ground for additional research. . . . the book moves the discussion forward."
"[T]he book serves as a valuable resource on this difficult issue. . . . it has definitely advanced the discussion."
"[A] series of thoughtful essays. . . . Given that the contributors do not always agree with one another, no one should expect to treat this volume as the last word on this complex subject. However, fresh light is shone on the major issues and one hopes that it might at least be a step on the way."
"While God does not need to be rescued from false caricatures, his followers do need reinforcements to withstand the faith-shaking attacks from New Atheists and others. This book provides helpful biblical, historical, theological, and philosophical reinforcements."
"This is an excellent resource for the scholar, student, pastor, or Bible student who seeks to know more about the concept of holy war in the Bible."
Part 1. The Challenge of Holy War for Christian Morality
1. Orientation Amidst Diversity: An Introduction to the Volume
Geth Allison Reid Powell
2. Joshua and the Crusades
Douglas S. Earl
Part 2. Old Testament Perspectives
3. Martial Memory, Peaceable Vision: Divine War in the Old Testament
4. A Neglected Witness to ?Holy War? in the Writings
Part 3. New Testament Perspectives
5. Vengeance, Wrath, and Warfare as Images of Divine Justice in John?s Apocalypse
6. The Rhetoric of Divine Warfare in Ephesians
Part 4. Biblical-Theological Perspectives
7. Compassion and Wrath as Motivations for Divine Warfare
8. Holy War and ~rx : A Biblical Theology of ~rx
Douglas S. Earl
Part 5. Ethical Philosophical Perspectives
9. Crusade in the Old Testament and Today
10. The Ethics of 'Holy War' for Christian Morality and Theology
Paul Copan Matthew Flannagan
11. The Prophets' Call for Peacemaking Practices
12. 'Holy War', Divine Action, and New Atheism: Philosophical Considerations
Part 6. Theological Perspectives
13. The Unholy Notion of ?Holy War?: A Christian Critique
14. 'Holy War' and the New Atheism: A Dogmatic Response
Part 7. Afterword
15. Old Testament Holy War Christian Morality: Where do We Go from Here?
Jeremy Evans Heath Thomas