For a while now I’ve had numerous people recommend Derek Flood’s book called Disarming Scripture (see: Amazon link). I see why, as I deeply resonated with much of what Flood writes and the questions he asks about Christianity and the Bible. While he raises some great tensions, I found his solutions for those tensions a bit too reliant on our own subjective criteria. The main topic of this book is what to do with the violence of God in the Bible. Essentially, Flood explains how our common sense and our experiences need to shape what we conclude today. While there is much truth to that, it seems incomplete and opens the door to numerous other topics that are left unresolved. I feel that books like Cross Vision from Greg Boyd (see: my book review) offer a more helpful method of navigating the violent texts objectively.
Nonetheless, Flood raises many thought-provoking ideas and challenges the reader to see things in a fresh way. For that I am truly grateful for a book like this. We need to read books like this on a regular basis—regardless of how much we agree or disagree with—in order to challenge our biases and blind spots. His main idea is that there are two ways of reading the Bible. “The Pharisees are representative of the way of unquestioning obedience, and Jesus is representative of the way of faithful questioning.” Processing whether we are reading the Bible with unquestioning obedience or faithful questioning is a helpful way of framing our interpretations of Scripture.