Beyond Understanding

Brian McLaren's article "Is God Violent?" was a huge disappointment. He notes that there is a "plethora" of examples of violence in the Bible, but also "a plethora of verses that present God as kind, reconciling, compassionate," and decides that he needs "to choose one plethora over another, or subordinate one to another."

But the Bible isn't a "library" from which we can select whatever volumes agree with our position. It presents a many-faceted and, to a certain extent, inscrutable God. And McLaren's "when in doubt, consult Jesus" is a red herring. Jesus doesn't speak exhaustively to these issues; we should be wary of putting our thoughts into his mouth.

Bill Ball
Edmond, Oklahoma

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Sojourners Magazine February 2011
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