Why teaching the strange and disturbing stories in Scripture is essential to outreach and spiritual growth.
You don't have to read Richard Dawkins anymore to encounter objections to the Christian faith. Just log onto Facebook or Twitter. Many of the objections center on the "problem passages" of Scripture, those stories where God seems capricious or cruel. The Genesis flood, the Canaanite genocide, Levitical laws, Sodom and Gomorrah, Ananias and Sapphira—all have become fodder for Internet memes and reverse apologetics sites attempting to undermine the Bible and the God it proclaims. We can no longer avoid these parts of the Bible. So how can we teach them in honest and redemptive ways? We talked to two pastors who have tackled the topic head-on. Joshua Ryan Butler is pastor of outreach at Imago Dei Church in Portland, Oregon, and author of The Skeletons in God's Closet (Nelson, 2014). Dan Kimball is a teaching pastor at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, and author of the forthcoming Crazy Bible? (Zondervan, 2016). Leadership Journal managing editor Drew Dyck sat down with Butler and Kimball. Keep reading