Mass Destruction – is God Guilty of Genocide ?
Divinely-sanctioned murder in the Old Testament has long posed a moral dilemma for Christians. Many are quick to pass judgment on a society they do not understand, and to make false comparisons with modern atrocities, which they rightly condemn. In this timely book, Melvin Tinker brings out the many complications that are involved in reading the ancient texts, and shows that what seems alien to us was a necessary part of the divine guidance and protection given to ancient Israel. The texts will never make easy or comfortable reading, but here we have an explanation that will give us greater understanding of what transpired in the distant past and why.
Dr Gerald Bray, Research Professor, Beeson Divinity School
Today it is customary for both Christians and non- Christians to have enormous moral problems with parts of the Old Testament where God commands the Israelites to kill others. Melvin Tinker tackles these hard texts head on, showing that they cannot be dealt with in isolation from the entire narrative of the Bible and from the character of God. Set within that wider context the texts that seemed problematic make a whole lot more moral sense.
Dr Peter Williams, Warden of Tyndale House and affiliated lecturer, Cambridge University
Melvin Tinker has courageously addressed the matter of God’s character and how God’s goodness relates to passages in the Bible which speak of his judgement and the carrying out of his judgement by Israel. He demonstrates a profound trust in the Bible as the Word of God, a close reading of the text and commitment to seeing the parts of the Bible in the context of the whole. I have been informed and encouraged by his approach and warmly recommend his book as an excellent resource for those who wish to understand, defend and proclaim biblical truth.
Dr Peter Jensen, former Principal of Moore College and Archbishop of Sydney
Old Testament reports of God’s ‘genocidal commands’ have long dismayed, perplexed or troubled people inside as well as outside the churches. What we easily lose sight of is the polar depths of divine holiness and human sin. Melvin Tinker deserves our gratitude for resolutely foregrounding these truths in his treatment and informing us of the nature of the Canaanite practices in question. He invites us to orient our thought unswervingly to the being and character of God and nothing is more important than that.
Dr Stephen N Williams, Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological College, Belfast
Melvin Tinker is Senior Minister of St John, Newland, Hull. Other books from EP include What Do You Expect? : Ecclesiastes for Today, Salt, Light and Cities on Hills, A Lost God in a Lost World and Touchy Topics. He is married to Heather and has three grown up sons and seven grandchildren