ADVERTISING
 
Monday, January 22   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Evangelical Focus is three years old
When was the first time you visited Evangelical Focus?





SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Apologetics
 

Approaching the violence passages of the Old Testament today

John Stevens, National Director of FIEC, explained in a FOCL webinar how to deal with Old Testament texts related to violence, in order to answer the apologetic questions that they raise.

SOURCES FOCL AUTHOR Belén Díaz, Evangelical Focus 23 FEBRUARY 2016 11:01 h GMT+1
Tintoretto Cain and Abel, by the painter 16th century painter Tintoretto.

One of the greatest challenges the contemporary church faces today, is the large number of Bible texts, especially in the Old Testament, which advocate the use of violence by the people of God.



In a FOCL webinar with John Stevens, National Director of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), he considered how we are to understand, interpret and apply these texts today, so that we can preach them faithfully and answer the apologetic questions that they raise.



 



THE PROBLEM OF VIOLENCE



 



John Stevens, National Director of FIEC

Stevens started his talk giving examples of some paradigmatic difficult texts of the Bible regarding the issue of violence, like Psalm 137, Deuteronomy 7:1-6, or Joshua 6: 15-18.



According to Stevens, these and other Bible texts where violence is present “have important implications for us today.”



Those implications are:




  • Apologetic: Very often people ask, how can you believe in a God like that?

  • Theological: Is God really like the one presented in the Old Testament?

  • Interfaith implications: We have to deal with the fact that the Bible in the Old Testament is more violent than the Quran/Islam.

  • Political: Does God want us to behave like that today?

  • Preaching/teaching: How do I handle this texts?



VIOLENCE IN OUR CULTURE



“We find these texts difficult and problematic because of the way that our culture today deals with the issue of violence”, the speaker stated.



Stevens pointed out some ways our culture tackles the problem of violence in a contradictory way: “We abhor violence and see it as a great moral evil and crime”, but we also “rejoice in violence and enjoy it, at least virtually, and want justice to be done even when this requires violence, for instance, with Daesh terrorists.”



At the same time, “Christians have sentimentalised the character of God and Jesus, and see them more like `Father Christmas´ than the God of the Bible”, he said.



 



VIOLENCE, THE BIBLE, AND THE CHARACTER OF GOD



After analysing the way culture deals with violence today, Stevens commented about the Biblical perspective of violence, and what is God´s character like regarding violence.



Talking about the Bible, he affirmed that “there is this dichotomy: sometimes violence is the result of sinful wickedness, and sometimes violence is the appropriate and just response to sin.”



Regarding the character of God, “in order to understand these texts in the Bible properly, we must recognise that God is not only a God of love, but he is also a God of justice”, the speaker said.



Additionally, he argued that “from the perspective of the New Testament, the violent passages we see in the Old Testament are used to speak about the great day of justice that is coming.”



 



Violent passages in the Bible lead to controversial debates.



 



“WE LIVE IN THE TIME OF SALVATION”



Stevens emphasised that “it is not our task to bring judgement to the world, our task today is to preach the gospel, and to pray that God´s justice will be done, because we are living in the day of salvation, not in the day of judgement.”



“It is important to understand that our situation is very different from the people in Israel, we are not a nation looking for a land; this means that we will understand that Old Testament passages do not apply to us directly, they are not commands for us to put into practice now”, he added.



 



"REJOICE IN THE CROSS"



According to the speaker, to better approach the violent passages of the Old Testament today, we should:




  • Make clear that they reveal the just judgement of God – we need to expound the wickedness of sin.

  • Proclaim the truth of eternal judgement to come.

  • Emphasise how God makes provision for mercy for those who repent and submit to him.

  • Rejoice in the cross where the twin demands of judgement and mercy were reconciled in the heart of God by the propitiatory death of Christ.

  • Remember that evangelism is about saving people from the just violence of God to come.

  • Be honest about the grievous failures of the church and Christians in the past.

  • Preach strongly against all sinful violence that is not an exercise of just judgement.



“WE ARE CALLED TO PREACH THE GOOD NEWS”



John Stevens finished the webinar stressing that “we should not see those Old Testament passages as embarrassing or wicked, but as examples of God acting in his justice.”



“We are not called to exercise judgement now, we are called to preach the good news and the offer of salvation that God makes to all people”, he added.



In the end, “the pictures we see in those Old Testament passages will be fully fulfilled as Jesus returns and brings justice”, he concluded.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Approaching the violence passages of the Old Testament today
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
He is... He is...

A video about Colossians 1:15-20.

 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
“It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation” “It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation”

In creation care, “we need more people who lead by example”, says well-known Brazilian politician and activist Marina Silva. 

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.