Reconciling the God of Love with the God of Genocide?

David T. Lamb, author of God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?, has written an article in the September/October issue of Relevant on the alleged incompatibility of the Old Testament wars and the Christian God. He shows why two common responses fail to resolve the problem (one offered by liberals, one offered by conservatives) and then offers five arguments that take both the problem and the text seriously.

Read it here (jump to pages 108-111).

An Open Letter to First-Year University Students

Timothy Dalrymple offers some excellent advice to students entering university study:

1. Seek wisdom, not merely intelligence.
2. Seek mentors, not merely teachers.
3. Seek the truth, not merely prevailing opinion.
4. Seek answers, not merely questions.
5. Seek betterment, not merely achievement.
6. Seek fellowship, not merely friends.
7. Finally, seek first the kingdom and righteousness of God.

Read the whole thing at Patheos here.

We Should Be Biblicists in the Same Way Jesus Was

Kevin DeYoung describes Jesus’ view of Scripture:

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  • He believed that the entire Old Testament came from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).
  • He believed that for Scripture to say something was the same as God speaking (Matt. 19:4-5).
  • He believed the inspiration of Scripture went down to the individual words (John 10:30).
  • He believed that Scripture cannot fail, cannot be wrong, and by implication cannot ultimately contradict itself (John 10:35).
  • He believed that the apostolic teaching – what is now preserved in the words of the New Testament – would be divinely inspired by the Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:12-15).
  • He settled disputes on all kinds of matters, from Christological to ethical to political, by appealing to Scripture, often “prooftexting” from a single verse (see Matt. 41-10; 19:1-7; 22:32).
  • He believed there were correct interpretations to Scripture that others should recognize even in the midst of interpretive pluralism (Matt. 5:21-48; 22:29).

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For further reading on the topic, John Wenham’s Christ and the Bible (Third Edition, 2009) is an excellent place to start.

Why Did Scientific Inquiry Fail in the Arabic World?

By the thirteenth century, Arabic science was the most advanced in the world. Advances in optics, astronomy, medicine, architecture, and more had brought a golden age of science and technology. Today, however, the scientific contribution of Muslim countries pales in comparison. Since 1901, only two scientists from Muslim countries have won Nobel Prizes in science. In total, forty-six Muslim countries contribute just one percent of the world’s scientific literature. Out of approximately 1,800 universities in Muslim countries, only 312 of those universities have scholars who have published journal articles. Muslim countries have only nine scientists, engineers, and technicians per thousand people, compared with a world average of forty-one. What happened?

In an article in The New Atlantis journal, Hillel Ofek explains why. He discusses the reasons for the decline of Arabic science and notes the fundamental differences between Islam and Christianity which led the latter to produce the modern scientific revolution.

[HT: Joe Carter]