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The Old Testament Case for Nonviolence by Matthew Curtis Fleischer

Posted by Erin Bechtol
04.05.18

“Do not leave alive anything that breathes.”—God

The violence in the Old Testament is one of the biggest obstacles facing Christianity today.

Believers regularly identify it as one of the most confounding and challenging aspects of the entire Bible.

Unbelievers often cite it as one reason why they don’t believe.

A few prominent atheists even use it to publicly demean God’s character. Richard Dawkins claims the God of the Old Testament is “arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

In The Old Testament Case for Nonviolence, Fleischer cuts through the rhetoric and popular misperceptions to provide a compelling, scripturally based, and highly readable case for a good, just, and loving God, one who is not only not bloodthirsty but who actually hates violence.

If you have ever struggled to understand or appreciate what God was doing in the Old Testament, you will love this book. You might even discover a deity who is more beautiful than you have ever imagined.

Reviews

“In the first six pages of his new book, Matthew Curtis Fleischer describes the problem of divine violence in the Old Testament as well as anyone ever has. In the following 200-plus pages, he offers Christians committed to biblical authority an intelligent and humane way of interpreting those passages, leading humanity from violence to nonviolence in the way of Jesus. Fleischer is an attorney, and he makes his case with clarity that would win over any unbiased jury.” — Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration

“Who would have thought that the Old Testament reveals God’s hatred of violence and his desire to rid the world of it? Yet that’s exactly the case Matthew Curtis Fleischer makes – in a compelling manner – in this book. Fleischer gives us a portrait of a God who consistently chooses nonviolence over violence – and who expects his followers to do the same.” — Dr. Bob Rambo, Lead Pastor, Christ United Methodist Church, Jackson, Mississippi

“An outstanding treatment of what is often taken to be the intractable problem of the dubious moral character of the God of the Old Testament. . . . An attentive reading of Fleischer’s crisp yet comprehensive account will dispel many of the pangs of conscience that have troubled believers over the years, while the honest agnostic or atheist reader should come away from his reading of The Old Testament Case for Nonviolence with a somewhat shaken faith that the God of the Old Testament is a moral monster.” — Gerard Casey, Professor Emeritus, University College Dublin

“In an effort reminiscent of fellow lawyers and lay theologians Jacques Ellul and William Stringfellow, Matthew Curtis Fleischer has produced a work of significant worth.” — Willard M. Swartley, Professor Emeritus, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

About the Author

Matthew Curtis Fleischer is a reader, writer, and attorney with a passion for exploring God’s beauty and brilliance.  He lives in Oklahoma City with his amazing bride and their three spectacular children.  You can find out more about him at matthewcurtisfleischer.com and follow him on Facebook or Twitter @MatthewCurtisF.

Buy the book here.

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