God is a “Man of War”. The Problem of Violence in Scripture

Note: SH. Today it is States alone which consider the punishment of [political and ever-evolving moral] “sins” to be their exclusive prerogative. And these States employ the shocking punishments most liberally day after day. Countless millions have died. But there exists One who is far above and infinitely mightier than creaturely states (Exo. 3:14-17) Who has spoken His Word and Law, and who warns evildoers to fear Him like we should fear no other. ‘The Fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God’ (Ps. 14:1). “It is appointed to men once to die. After this comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27). — SH.

God is a Man of War. The Problem of Violence in Scripture By Fr. Stephen De Young

“Few aspects of the Scriptures challenge modern sensibilities more than the violence found particularly in the Old Testament narratives. Atheists draw out the most brutal events in the Old Testament—from the narratives or the commandments of the Torah—and present them in the most shocking way possible as a way to attack the message of the Scriptures wholesale. Modern Christians and skeptics alike are offended by these texts that violate their consciences, rarely realizing that, ironically, their sense of right and wrong has itself been shaped by the Christian message.

It warrants mentioning at the outset that this book contains depictions of violence that, while originating in both scriptural and historical texts, may be disturbing to some. Admittedly, a book on violence in the Bible is not easy to write for various reasons, not the least of which is that we live in a broken world.

Many who come to this topic have had their own encounters with violence that have left them wounded or even disturbed. The intention behind this book is neither to sensationalize nor minimize those passages in the Bible that testify to the reality of violence, nor to expunge them from the living witness of Holy Scripture simply because they make us uncomfortable on a gut level.

Instead, God Is a Man of War seeks to better understand and thereby integrate these passages within our understanding of the Scriptures and God’s active presence within and throughout the course of human experiences, including our own.”