ARC Review: Confronting Old Testament Controversies by Tremper Longman III

Confronting Old Testament Controversies: Pressing Questions about Evolution, Sexuality, History and Violence by Tremper Longman III

Published April 2nd, 2019 by Baker Books

Genres Christian

Pages 320

Source Finished copy sent to me from Baker Books

Goodreads / Amazon


For many people, skeptics and believers alike, the Old Testament is rife with controversial passages and events that make both belief and sharing our beliefs with others difficult. Often our solutions have tended toward the extremes–ignore problem passages and pretend they don’t matter or obsess over them and treat them as though they are the only thing that matters. Now with clarity of purpose and fidelity to the message and spirit of Scripture as a whole, Tremper Longman confronts pressing questions of concern to modern audiences, particularly young people in the church:

– the creation/evolution debate
– God-ordained violence
– the historicity of people, places, and events
– human sexuality

Pastors, leaders in the church, and thoughtful and troubled Christians in the pews will find here a well-reasoned and faithful approach to dealing with the Old Testament passages so many find challenging or disconcerting.

This was a fairly interesting book and I expected it to be simply from the title and the synopsis. The author definitely deals with some controversial and hot button topics throughout the book. The main issues the author addresses are evolution, history, sexuality and violence. This book contains a great deal of information, however I feel like this book is written towards scholars or theology graduates and not the broad audience that it was intended for. I have a BA in Anthropology so I have heard pretty much every argument and discussion one can hear about the creation/evolution debate and the author didn’t really introduce any new ideas to me on this topic.  And as a Christian, all of the other topics I was already fairly familiar with because of my time in church and studying the Bible. Some of his arguments throughout the book I didn’t agree with and actually as I read through the reviews of this book from other readers, they seem to either really enjoy this book or not enjoy it at all. I feel I am somewhere in the middle. The author does present a lot of information on these hot topics, along with a great deal of Biblical scripture. I just personally did not enjoy the writing style and actually it took me quite awhile to get through this book. As I mentioned before, I think readers with either really enjoy this book or they won’t enjoy it at all.

Thank you to the publisher, Baker Books, for sending me a review copy of this book.

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