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THE113 Violence in Scripture (Part 1)

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ABOUT

Violence in Scripture’ tackles some entrenched and historically harmful views many of us have about God. God is not a god of violence – he is a god of peace and restoration. The scriptures show this throughout both the Old and New Testament. How do we reconcile ideas of eternal judgement, sacrifice of innocents and war with what we know of God? This module will provide an well reasoned argument as it tries to depart from ideas borrowed from Greek mythology and return to a Hebrew understanding of the Scriptures.

Lessons: 11 weeks   Effort: 3-4 hours/week   Level: Intermediate

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

  • How many of the ideas we have about God are falsely borrowed from Greek ideas of their violent Gods
  • How God revealed himself as a God of restoration throughout scripture
  • What about eternal judgement? Is this consistent with a restorative God?
  • What the early church thought of violence, destruction?
  • What Jesus revealed as the heart of God
  • How do we reconcile violence in the Old Testament with Jesus’ teachings of ‘turn the other cheek’
  • What a God of restoration, as opposed to a god of violence, looks like in our communities, cities, world

COURSE STRUCTURE

This course is split into weekly readings. There are 11 weeks of lessons after which you will be expected to complete your course assignment and prepare for the end of semester exam. The assignment is worth 70% of you final grade and exam worth 30%.

Lessons

THE113 – Week 1 – The Image of God

When violence erupts, we see time and again that Christians are heavily involved. We see it in our history and we see it today. We have heard it being preached from many Christian pulpits. We have seen it being carried out by great atrocities against non-Christians in our present time; things that are never reported [...]

THE113 – Week 2 – Anger on the Cross

I grew up in a Western nation. In the post Second World War period, this meant that religiously we grew up with an emphasis on a judicial faith. The book of Romans was read this way. “God is angry at the sin of the world and was going to punish it. But Jesus stepped in [...]

THE113 – Week 3 – Sacrifice I

We assume that sacrifice began with God. We assume that it was initially God’s idea. There is no culture on earth that isn’t a sacrifice centred culture. Sacrifice permeates all our religions and much of our thinking. But if it began with God, let’s just think about what this might mean. It would mean that [...]

THE113 – Week 4 – Sacrifice II

We assume that sacrifice began with God. We assume that it was initially God’s idea. There is no culture on earth that isn’t a sacrifice centred culture. Sacrifice permeates all our religions and much of our thinking. But if it began with God, let’s just think about what this might mean. It would mean that [...]

THE113 – Week 5 – Sacrifice III

We assume that sacrifice began with God. We assume that it was initially God’s idea. There is no culture on earth that isn’t a sacrifice centred culture. Sacrifice permeates all our religions and much of our thinking. But if it began with God, let’s just think about what this might mean. It would mean that [...]

THE113 – Week 6 – Sacrifice IV

We assume that sacrifice began with God. We assume that it was initially God’s idea. There is no culture on earth that isn’t a sacrifice centred culture. Sacrifice permeates all our religions and much of our thinking. But if it began with God, let’s just think about what this might mean. It would mean that [...]

THE113 – Week 7 – Sacrifice & Scapegoating

Every aspect of the kingdom of God is missiological. The gospel is about one new kingdom coming to permeate and renew old kingdoms of death. The gospel is about ambassadors, being sent into foreign kingdoms, as representatives of a new kingdom that is coming to rule. This is how Jesus came in the incarnation and this [...]

THE113 – Week 8 – The Wrath of God I

What happened in the Garden is similar to what happens in many families today. A child comes of age and decides to go his or her own way. He believes that the parents don’t have his best interests at heart. There are various degrees in which this happens, and it is often one of the most [...]

THE113 – Week 9 – The Wrath of God II

What happened in the Garden is similar to what happens in many families today. A child comes of age and decides to go his or her own way. He believes that the parents don’t have his best interests at heart. There are various degrees in which this happens, and it is often one of the most [...]

THE113 – Week 10 – Eternal Conscious Torment I

Now to turn to the texts in the scripture that speak about eternal punishment. What do these texts mean? Different views existed in earlier church history, but the view that these texts represent eternal conscious torment in a literal lake of fire gained strength in the European Middle Ages. When it was suggested by some [...]

THE113 – Week 11 – Eternal Conscious Torment II

Now to turn to the texts in the scripture that speak about eternal punishment. What do these texts mean? Different views existed in earlier church history, but the view that these texts represent eternal conscious torment in a literal lake of fire gained strength in the European Middle Ages. When it was suggested by some [...]

THE113 – Assignment & Exam

Now that you have completed your readings for Violence in Scripture (Part 1) you will be expected to complete your assignment and exam for this module. ASSIGNMENT: 70% of module grade. Essays or long answer questions. Given few weeks to complete. Open book (including references). EXAM: 30% of module grade. End of semester exam. Multiple [...]