Who is Jesus talking about in Luke 12:5 where He says, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear him!” Some say God. Some say Satan. Your answer reveals your theology about whether or not God is violent. Therefore, Luke 12:5 is a theological shibboleth.
Exodus 14 tells the story of God drowning the Egyptian army. How can God drown Israel’s enemies when Jesus tells us to die for our enemies? In this post, I argue that God didn’t kill the Egyptian army Himself, but God did take the blame for this event and bears responsibility for it because it is something that happened on His watch and seemingly by the hand of His prophet, Moses.
Many atheists, I believe, have rightly declared their non-belief in a god that truly does not exist. This is an act of pure worship to the God who does. So Christians, let us follow our atheist friends in denying the existence of this false god of power, money, bloodshed, and violence, and instead call people to believe in the enemy-loving, all-forgiving God who is found in Jesus Christ dying on the cross.
If a basic rule of hermeneutics is that the simpler and clearer texts should override the more difficult and troubling texts, and if Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God so that He can say “if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father,” why do we choose to let the more troubling, difficult, and violent texts override and trump the loving, merciful, and Christlike texts?
The Bible is uniquely human because the Bible accurately reveals to us what is in the heart of man. God knows what is in the heart of men (Jer 17:10; 1 Cor 2:11), and He reveals it to us through Scripture. It is my conviction that Scripture does not so much reveal God to us as it reveals us to us. Scripture is a mirror which God puts up to our own hearts to reveal what is in man (Jas 1:23).