The contentious issue of the Old Testament commands to wage utterly destructive warfare at the time of the conquest of Canaan are honestly, boldly, and helpfully addressed in this concise book.
God is very much put ‘on trial’ in our culture and this issue is part of the evidence used against him. Quotes from various people, both within and without the professing church, are used to illustrate how this is used to cast doubt upon either the reliability of the Bible, or the holiness of the Lord.
Tinker proceeds to carefully build a case dismantling these objections, discussing the text in its overall biblical context, and arguing for the righteousness of the just and loving intervention of God even in ways which we find difficult to understand. The culmination is, of course, the cross of Christ where he movingly describes the holiness, justice, mercy and grace of God meeting to bring salvation to such sinners as us.
Along the way he shows how utterly destructive Canaanite idolatry was of human well-being, how a ‘one-off’ type of warfare at the conquest period was an attempt to purge the land of this evil, and how this prefigures the day when all evil will be both punished and driven out for ever from God’s world. He faithfully upholds the unity of the two Testaments, and defends the utter integrity of the character of God.
It is a helpful and good read, but perhaps demanding for some. It will give pastors and Bible teachers extra help in a matter that often gets raised by those wishing to reject the Bible’s witness to the goodness and greatness of God.
Dr Ray Evans
Grace Community Church, Bedford and FIEC Church Leadership Consultant