This week I’m offering This Strange and Sacred Scripture by Matthew Richard Schlimm. This is a new author for me but I’ve finished the first three chapters and find him very accessible and a good writer. The Old Testament is a hot topic right now so I welcome each new contribution to the subject. Here are only two of the great endorsements this has already received.
“Seminary and university Old Testament professors: make sure you have your students read this text. Marcionites and semi-Marcionites: this text is the coup de grâce to your idea that the Old Testament is not only pre-Christian but even anti-Christian. To the reader puzzled by much of what you encounter in the Old Testament: immerse yourself deeply in this book, and you will find much food for thought from an author who has addressed intelligently and provocatively the questions that linger in your mind. Matthew Schlimm: well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Victor P. Hamilton, professor emeritus of Old Testament, Asbury University
“Some of my friends say strange things and hold strange views, but because they are my friends I can’t just dismiss what they say. Having friends who think differently from me helps expand my thinking and rescue me from the limitations of my current perspective. I give my friends the benefit of the doubt when they say things that are outrageous. Matthew Schlimm invites us to do the same with the Old Testament, helps us to listen to many of its notoriously outrageous statements, and also shares with us worthwhile insights from other people who are friends with the Old Testament (and from yet other people who would not see themselves as its friends).”
John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary
Also, check out the table of contents:
1. Is the Old Testament an Enemy, Stranger, or Friend to the Christian Faith?
2. Our Fleeting Moments in Paradise
3. Darkness over the Face of the Deep
4. The R-Rated Bible
5. Killing All That Breathes: Violence in the Old Testament
6. Male and Female God Created Them: Gender and the Old Testament
7. God Commands Us to Do What?! The Strange Laws of the Bible
8. Is the Law Engraved in Stone? The Dynamic Nature of God’s Law
9. Truth Is Many Sided
10. Drowning in Tears and Raging at God
11. Great and Terrible Is the Wrath of the Lord
12. The Old Testament’s Authority
Appendix: A Literal Translation of Genesis 2:4b-4:16
For a chance to win a copy please leave your name in the comments section by NLT Friday March 20, 6:00 am EST. I’ll draw the winning name that Friday. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry.
This Strange and Sacred Scripture is from Baker Academic. It is a paperback with 272 pages and sells for $22.99.
Matthew Richard Schlimm (PhD, Duke University) is assistant professor of Old Testament at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He previously taught at Duke Divinity School and has held various ministry positions in United Methodist churches. He is the author of From Fratricide to Forgiveness: The Language and Ethics of Anger in Genesis and coeditor of the CEB Study Bible. The author has a great website which offers mutliple resources to augment the book. You can find it here.