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God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old…
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God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and… (edition 2011)

by David T. Lamb

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663180,945 (4.25)None
Member:Artur
Title:God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?
Authors:David T. Lamb
Info:IVP Books (2011), Paperback, 205 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:apologetics, bin 4

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God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist? by David T. Lamb

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I enjoyed reading this book far more than I had expected. The author presents a case that the negative perception of God as presented in the Old Testament is incorrect, and that deeper investigation of the texts rather presents God as consistently merciful, loving, slow to anger, etc.
The author is to be commended for his honest engagement with difficult texts in the Old Testament, and for not slipping into the irrational, platitude laden arguments that mark so many popular Christian apologetic works.
Although the book is intelligently written and accessible, in many ways it does not live up to the task it has set out.
Many of the most vile sections of the Old Testament are not dealt with at all. This could be for space issues or other legitimate reasons, but the bypassing of these texts makes the case the book would like to make weaker.
The author resorts in some cases to grading God on a curve, with variations of "compared to what other bad people were doing, God's actions were mild or somewhat better". This is usually not held in high regard as an argument, since it does not affirm that God's actions are positively good, but simply not as base and evil as what others were doing.
The entire book suffers from the fact that it is, so to speak, preaching to the choir. One must accept, a priori, that the Old Testament is inspired and accurate, and that God is essentially good in order for many of the authors points to work. For those who would draw from the text itself an image of the God it presents, without preconception, the author's points fail in many places.
The author himself, quite honestly, admits that many of the passages he deals with remain problematic, even for him, after he has tried to explain them with God in a better light.
The book is worth reading, and makes many well articulated points. Its greatest success, however, will be with those who already believe the premise of the author. For those who need to be convinced that God, based on these Old testament texts, remains loving, just, etc., the book fails. ( )
  Artur | Dec 31, 2012 |
NCLA Review: How can we reconcile the loving God of the Old Testament with the harsh God of the New Testament? Hasn’t David Lamb in GOD BEHAVING BADLY switched the roles? If we have been taught badly, even listened badly, we could believe that God behaves badly. Lamb’s purpose is to reconcile the contradictory roles of Old Testament Yahweh with New Testament Jesus. He does this with spiritual and historical insight as he tackles those harsh stories we prefer to ignore. His style is informative, insightful, at times humorous, definitely not a dry theological thesis. It is important to discover God’s nature for this will determine how we relate to God. Chapter headings indicate how God may be considered. Is God angry or loving, sexist, racist, legalistic or gracious, distant or near? Remember the full name of God, Exodus 34:5-6, is his name in both Testaments. Lamb sees God as fascinating, never boring. You will agree as you move through the familiar stories with him. Don’t miss this book! Rating: 4 —CP ( )
  ncla | Feb 7, 2012 |
An excellent book for Christians and non-believers alike. Dr. Lamb's arguments are sound, his research superb, and his writing engaging and often funny. I came away with an entirely new way of thinking not only about the Old Testament God, but about Jesus as well. I am going to recommend this to my friend the minister. ( )
1 vote meggyweg | Jul 30, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0830838260, Paperback)

God has a bad reputation. Many think of God as wrathful and angry, smiting people right and left for no apparent reason. The Old Testament in particular seems at times to portray God as capricious and malevolent, wiping out armies and nations, punishing enemies with extreme prejudice.But wait. The story is more complicated than that. Alongside troubling passages of God's punishment and judgment are pictures of God's love, forgiveness, goodness and slowness to anger. How do we make sense of the seeming contradiction? Can God be trusted or not? David Lamb unpacks the complexity of the Old Testament to explore the character of God. He provides historical and cultural background to shed light on problematic passages and to bring underlying themes to the fore. Without minimizing the sometimes harsh realities of the biblical record, Lamb assembles an overall portrait that gives coherence to our understanding of God in both the Old and New Testaments.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:19 -0400)

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