Book: Show Them No Mercy
The Old Testament talks about a lot of killing – and the New Testament talks about a lot of love and forgiveness. How is it possible to reconcile the two views? This book has four different authors – C.S. Cowles, Eugene H. Merrill, Daniel L. Gard, and Tremper Longman III – each give their opinion, and respond to the opinions of the other authors.
Cowles is perhaps the most interesting – he thinks that the people of the Old Testament misunderstood what God was commanding, and that God never would have said to kill people. The others, Longman most convincingly, in my opinion, try to show the general progression within the Bible.
Having read the book, it’s still a subject that makes me somewhat uncomfortable: if you don’t find the argument “everyone has rejected God, so it’s only by God’s mercy that anyone is alive” to be comforting in this situation, then you’ll probably be in a similar situation, but the book is a well-written consideration of the issues at hand. Worth a look if it’s something you’re thinking through.