Bob Dylan, Tomahawk Missiles and the Lost Art of Lament.


I found myself screaming obscenities at the TV screen last week as I viewed footage of Syrian children killed by a chemical weapons attack. Just as the body of a Syrian child washed up on Europe’s shores fixed the world’s attention on the desperate plight of Syrian refugees, so this footage concentrated our attention on the violent abuse of power by the Syrian Government against its citizens. The...

Did God Really Command the Slaughter of the Canaanites?


When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and occupy, and he clears away many nations before you—the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations mightier and more numerous than you— and when the Lord your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, then you must utterly destroy them...

The Problem of Violence in the Bible


The Bible is a violent book that describes a violent God. In Genesis 6 God sends a flood that wipes out life on the earth he created. Only the select few on the Ark are saved. Fast forward to the liberation of the Israelites from slavery and God kills all the firstborn sons of Egypt before drowning the Egyptian army in the Red Sea. The Israelites are brought to their own land and told to commit...

Palm Sunday. Does An Ancient Prophet Riding a Donkey Have Anything To Say To My World?


Today is Palm Sunday. It’s the day we remember Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, greeted by crowds waving palm fronds and acclaim him the descendent of David, come to reclaim his throne. I write while sitting in an airplane, 35,000 feet above the ground, hurtling through the air at hundreds of kilometres an hour. What relevance can this story of an ancient prophet on a donkey...

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