Is there a “Defense” for the “Terror Texts” of Joshua?

Is there a “Defense” for the “Terror Texts” of Joshua?

Atheism specifically (and culture generally) seeks to incite scorn against the biblical narrative via the commands, especially in the book of Joshua, to exterminate the inhabitants of the promised land.

How do we answer this? Is there a defense we can utilize that doesn’t on the one hand sentimentalize, or on the other, sanction “Jihad”?

Michael Horton is sensitive to the layered, more dimensional approach to answering this concern. His appreciation of the covenantal, progressively revealed and Christocentric nature of the biblical narrative is crucial, and in my opinion, accurate.

The shallow evangelical, Dispensational and neo-Zionist approach is nearly as intolerable as is Islam in an effort to seriously and satisfactorily address the issue.

Our Unselfconscious Addiction to Dispensationalism

Dispensationalism, with it’s complex premillinarian designs, it’s hankering for revivalism, sensationalism, and ridiculous charts is a hugely dangerous distraction for the Christian community. Primarily because it is so accepted as truth, it is typically not even considered among believers. 

It is just adopted. Simply raise one legitimate question about the theological (not political) viability of present day Israel and you’ll know whereof I speak. 

Even the smartest simply take it as “gospel”. In fact it takes more mental effort to disengage from it than it does to discover and adhere to it.

Like a fly you keep swatting that never seems to die, it shows up everywhere. Few actually realize that it is in fact a recent, modern day novelty developed in the mid 1800s. Yet it has affected almost everything Christians have to say. And if you differ from their millenarian conclusions you are immediately held suspect in the court of their minds, if not judged, sentenced and dismissed altogether.

Even if one does not subscribe consciously to the distinct tenets of Dispensationalism, it’s end-time scenarios still plague the minds and shape the thinking of the major slice of the professing believer pie.

The scourge of this distraction has caused the focus of otherwise serious, sober-minded believers to veer off course from Jesus to modern-day Israel, (please do not misunderstand – I support the great nation of Israel politically. I just believe that the eschatological schemes that have been presented by Dispensationalism are at best dubious. It’s a hermeneutical thing) left-over Hal Lindsey-ism and the sensational news stories of the day.


Yet one more fatal symptom of the bigger issue of the heart – distractionism and leaving the centrality of Christ for a cheap substitute. 


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