Thursday, August 10, 2017

CWG (Chapter 24)

Chapter 24: The Dragon Swallowing Dragon

In this chapter, 3 more Old Testament stories are considered. In each of these stories, God is depicted as violent. Nevertheless, based on his project up to this point, Boyd offers an alternative interpretation.

Korah's rebellion is met by 'fire' and 'wrath' from the LORD. But Paul seems to suggest that this judgment was directly administered by a destroying angel. While the original authors thought of God like the other ANE gods (willing to use violence), the revelation of God's character in Christ allowed Paul (and us) to see things differently.

The same holds true for the story of the Exodus. Here, Boyd sees Pharaoh/Egypt as one demonic stronghold and the sea as another (even more powerful) god. Creation was crashing back into chaos in these events. It was only by the hand of God that the Israelite children... and then all the Israelites... were protected from such chaos. Once God removed His protective hand, chaos ensued. God didn't kill the Egyptian army, one dragon (the pride of Pharaoh) succumbed to another (represented by the sea).

There's no getting around the fact that the author of the Sodom and Gomorrah account believed God to be directly responsible for the destruction of those cities. But references from elsewhere in the canon provide clues that confirm a cruciform reading is possible. In all 3 of these cases, there are clues in Scripture that are really only made visible once we have allowed Christ to change the way we read Scripture.

I found this chapter very impressive. I think Boyd made a strong case for allowing progressive revelation to alter the way we read early biblical texts. All of his work in the project thus far are coming together well in these case studies.

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