The old testament has been a source of controversy for Christians throughout the centuries. In his book “Confronting Old Testament Controversies” Tremper Longman III discusses and addresses pressing questions about four major topics.
In the introduction Longman summarizes the big controversies and what positions he will be arguing which I will summarize here. In the first 78 page chapter he presents a view of the old testament that does not promote but does not contradict evolution. I don’t think it would be unfair to say that the author’s personal position that evolution is an indisputable scientific fact. In the next chapter, Longman argues that when the Bible intends an event to be taken historically the event’s theological importance relies on it being so. The book’s penultimate chapter deals with issues regarding God’s violence in the old testament. The author shows that attempts to move away from a God who causes physical harm to his enemies are misguided. Finally, and perhaps the most controversial of all, is a chapter on sexuality. This is especially relevant in our culture today that has moved away from a biblical view of human sexuality. Longman presents the traditional and longstanding view of homosexuality in this section.
I enjoy this book because of its controversial nature. I’m sure there are many who will agree with everything, but I suspect there is something for almost everyone to be challenged, if not out-right offended by in this work. It is good to get out of one’s theological bubble and interact with differing views. This book is both accessible and informative enough to engage a wide audience containing both the serious old testament student or the interested layman.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.