As we read through the Bible together this year, it's easy to notice all the violence in the Old Testament. As the voices of God's critics are getting louder, one of the major criticisms we hear today is how God seems to condone "holy war" telling His people to occupy the land and kill anyone that tries to stop them. And then Jesus comes along in the New Testament telling people to love their enemies and turn the other cheek.
So then the critical voices ask: Which God do you serve? The genocidal general of the Old Testament, or the peace-loving, merciful God of the New? Because surely these extremely different character traits can't be the same deity, right? And if they are, doesn't that make God problematic?
As we reclaim a healthy understanding of the historical and biblical narrative, it answers some of the criticisms of the modern skeptic. But it still doesn't fully deal with those drastic marching orders where God commands them to show no mercy and kill everything that breathes. As we study this in its biblical and historical context, we believe you'll walk away more assured of the goodness of God.