(2013, Downers Grove, IVP Academic)
From its well thought out introductory chapter, to an elegantly written chapter titled “‘Holy War’ and the New Atheism: A Theological Response,” this is a book which is a necessary addition to the thoughtful theologian, biblical student or studied apologist’s library. For those of us who work with educated non-Christians and troubled lay persons in situations where we are called upon to answer questions about the impact of historical Christianity over the millennia, this is a must read text, and one I know I will look to in the coming years to supplement and inspire future academic papers of my own.
This is a well put together resource regarding the historical use of the term “Holy War”; its roots and real history, the misuse of the term, both historically and in recent years. As well, there are chapters which revisit the hyperbolic ancient Near East war language which is both internal to the Old Testament and external in the archaeological records from the cultures who surrounded the ancient Israelite nation. This book contains chapters which set the record straight on origins of the term “holy war,” and examine the inter-biblical record for signs of actual genocide. Its authors re-examine the concept of “just war” and in contrast, pacifism within the kingdom of God or later “Christendom” in the Holy Roman Empire.
My congratulations to the editors for including well crafted essays written by thoughtful scholars from across the disciplines of Theology, Biblical studies, Philosophy/Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. My hope is that this series of essays deepens the conversations within the disciplines of Philosophy of Religion, Biblical Studies and Theology.
You can find this book here at IVP Academic, or here at Amazon.
I received my copy for free from IVP for review, and was not influenced by them to write a positive review.