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Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views on God and…

Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views on God and Canaanite Genocide

by C. S. Cowles

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I appreciated this book overall. In particular, I appreciated C.S. Coles (He presented "The Case for Radical Discontinuity") straightforward facing the Canaanite genocide in the Old Testament. I also enjoyed Longman's essay on "The Case for Spiritual Continuity." The other two authors are substantially similar to Longman. Also, all the author's self-identify as Evangelicals. I would suggest this book as introduction to the topic, but I would also urge further study. ( )
  aevaughn | Dec 3, 2014 |
The four essays in this volume are by C.S Cowles "The case for Radical Discontinuity", Eugene H. Merrill "The case for Moderate Discontinuity", Daniel L. Gard "The Case for Eschatological Continuity" and Tremper Longman III "The Case for Spiritual continuity". All four authors are American Evangelicals.

What becomes quickly clear is that while the differences between the last three authors on the issue are not huge - all three see no ultimate problem in a asserting that God authorized and even demanded the genocide of the peoples of the land of Canaan in order to make way for the arriving Israelites. They also agree that this in no way justifies similar violence today. They differ only in precisely how we are to relate the Old Testament to the New on this matter.

Cowles is the only one to really face the issue more radically, declaring that the OT witnesses to a misunderstanding of God by Israel, and the New Testament corrects this.

None of the authors addresses the question of the nature of the biblical narratives, treating them as substantially historical. This is a pity, since many scholars today would argue that this misunderstands the texts, that the authors were more interested in the relevance of the stories to their own time than in the accuracy of their historical context, and to impose modern ideas of history on to such texts is as inappropriate as, for example, trying to write a biography of the 'prodigal son' beyond the information in the parable.

In fact modern scholarship has thrown a great deal of light on these narratives which, by recognising their genre, has allowed a much richer reading of the text. One such study is the recently publishe "The Joshua Delusion" by another Evangelical scholar, D.S. Earl. In my opinion Earl goes a bit too far the other way, but non the less his contribution is, in my opinion, considerably superior to any of the four offerings here. ( )
1 vote TonyMilner | Nov 25, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0310245680, Paperback)

A discussion of various contemporary evangelical views of genocide in the Old Testament. Christians are often shocked to read that Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, commanded the total destruction---all men, women, and children---of the ethnic group know as the Canaanites. This seems to contradict Jesus' command in the New Testament to love your enemies and do good to all people. How can Yahweh be the same God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? What does genocide in the Bible have to do with the politics of the 21st century? This book explores, in typical Counterpoints format, the Old Testament command of God to exterminate the Canaanite population and what that implies about continuity between the Old and New Testaments. The four points of view presented on the continuity of the Testaments are: * Strong Discontinuity --- C . S. Cowles * Moderate Discontinuity --- Eugene H. Merrill * piritual Continuity --- Tremper Longman III * Eschatological Continuity --- Daniel L. Gard The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Bible and Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:42 -0400)

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An edition of this book was published by Zondervan.

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