Is God a Vindictive Bully?
Reconciling Portrayals of God in the Old and New Testaments
Critics outside the church often accuse the Old Testament God of genocide, racism, ethnic cleansing, and violence. But a rising tide of critics within the church claim that Moses and other “primitive,” violence-prone prophets were mistaken about God's commands and character. Both sets of critics dismiss this allegedly harsh, flawed, “textual” Old Testament God in favor of the kind, compassionate, “actual” God revealed by Jesus. Are they right to do so?Following his popular book Is God a Moral Monster?, noted apologist Paul Copan confronts false, imbalanced teaching that is confusing and misleading many Christians. Copan takes on some of the most difficult Old Testament challenges and places them in their larger historical and theological contexts. He explores the kindness, patience, and compassion of God in the Old Testament and shows how Jesus in the New Testament reveals not only divine kindness but also divine severity. The book includes a detailed Scripture index of difficult and controversial passages and is helpful for anyone interested in understanding the flaws in these emerging claims that are creating a destructive gap between the Testaments.
“Do you have a problem with something, or a lot of things, in the Old Testament? Paul Copan has provided a virtual encyclopedia of helpful answers to frequently asked questions that trouble many readers. He tackles a whole range of objections that arise both from those who claim broad Christian allegiance to the Bible as a whole and from those who make no such claim whatsoever and use the Old Testament as a major reason for their hostility. This is a thoroughly detailed reference work that those of us who teach or preach the Old Testament will turn to frequently, or point others to, when such questions are aired. An excellent resource indeed!”
— Christopher J. H. Wright, global ambassador and ministry director, Langham Partnership; author of Old Testament Ethics for the People of God
See our Worldview Bulletin excerpt from Is God a Vindictive Bully? here.