095: Making Sense of the Dark Passages of the Bible

Picture of by Matthew Leonard
by Matthew Leonard
Making Sense of the Dark Passages of the Bible

Featuring Curtis Mitch

Have you ever read something in the Bible and thought, “Yikes! That doesn’t sound like a loving God!”

There are a lot of difficult events (not to mention direct instructions from God) that cause 21st century Christians a lot of angst.

Of particular note is the extreme violence ordered by God against seemingly innocent people. So what gives? How does this square with the love taught by Christ and His Church?

To provide some answers, I brought in Curtis Mitch. He’s one of the sharpest biblical minds in the Catholic Church. (For the last 20 years he’s been writing the commentary in the best-selling Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.)

He’s got serious Scripture skills and I love having him on the show.

Among other things, we’ll discuss:

  • Why the Israelites engaged in the violent conquest of Canaan (killing everyone and everything…Yeah, I told you this one wasn’t easy)
  • What is herem warfare and why did God order it
  • The whole point of the Promised Land
  • The extremely dire consequences of idolatry
  • How to reconcile the violence of the Old Testament with the love taught by Christ
  • What lessons we can learn from the Israelites for our spiritual life

This might be the most difficult topic we’ve ever addressed. But it’s a necessary one to address if we’re going to proclaim the truth of God in the world (not to mention grow in our understanding and faith).



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3 Responses

  1. Thank you for this important lesson. Many times, I have been guilty in thinking that God in the Old Testament is not the God of the New Testament, in character. I always thought that we, humans just don’t know how justice works in the supernatural realm Cleansing is the answer and making a place worthy of our worship of the King of Kings makes sense. Boy! Is there a lot that we don’t know, yet.

  2. I always appreciate hearing or reading the viewpoint of someone who knows the terrain well, sees it from the bird’s eye view, and shares coherently for us who live on the ground. Many things make more sense now.

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