Well, to start with … I am not upset with Paidons view and I respect Paidon and have read some great stuff by him. I just disagree with this particular idea pretty strongly. when I say i am not a hardliner on inerrancy, it means I am not like some raving lunatics who have to find an explanation for every little inconsistency or who disegard the faith and opinions of those whose view on the integrity of scripture are not as strict as mine.
But I see the scriptures as a cloth with a few tattered edges and a couple of small holes in it due to the ravages of time. In order to rationalize the law and YHWH’s participation in it, or to disregard the miracles and supernatural events of the OT, I think you just have to tear a big ol hole in it.
How one goes from the burning bush to a guy just making it up as he goes along really strongly contradicts the tone and testimony of the scriptures concerning themselves, and the law concerning itself- and imo lowers Moses almost to the level of a charlatan despot.
I am presenting an alternative view to that which I believe is as logical as any- even if it turns out to be incorrect(since we are dealing with theories explaining acts from ancient times). My view hinges on three hypothesises.
1)God has set limits for Himself while He grows man through stewardship.
The law was a tutor and a shadow. The entire revelation under Moses was inferior, there was a reason for that, beyond God just singing “Doh De Doh” through the ages. His hands are in the clay upon the wheel of time, his winnowing fork upon the threshing floor separating the wheat from the chaff. we cannot see all the way into how the one “who causes all things to work according to the counsel of His will” has done what he has done, but to me it is clearly progressive, and in the OT you see the law given to govern a civilized nation in the midst of a primitive uncivilized word. A nation formed as a lampstand to the corporate consciousness of man. And even that is in stages as Israel progresses through trial and error through the Judges and the Kings while the prophets continually interpret the heart of the law back to erring Israel as they point to the coming reality of Messiah. For someone who had never seen a summer fruit tree, the dry tree would look very inferior until the leaves began to come out, then the blossoms, then the mature fruit.
2)Man presents logic in refutation of the scriptures that is as inconsistent and limited as the inconsistency man thinks he defies.
For instance, I think it is entirely possible that Saul’s sons participated in genocide and God would not let them go unpunished. He is a covenant God. The drought, as God is known to do, brings hidden things to light, and the cause of His disfavor had to be removed- similarly to when Achan hid things from the ban under his tent and Israel sufferred loss until the violation had to be revealed and purged. This is just as logical and likely a possibility and casts the “victims of the imaginary man-made unjust scriptural view of God”" in an entirely different light. Despite whatever their mother’s pain- in such a case they had to be judged. I cannot strictly see what (objective independent) logic would lead to one view over the other, but faith in the wisdom of God and a greater respect for the scriptures causes me personally to regard that as the logical view.
3)God understands war, but hates murder, and these can be two different things.
God is working with mankind, and “all the families in heaven and earth” are like waters flowing this way and that. he is the Master of the Seas and he is trying the hearts of men(individually and corporately) within the circumstance of time and chaos(futility- the crucible).
The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and** He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.**
The only way out of time and chaos is to seek God and commune with Him and His Spirit is moving over the face of the waters. “No man comes to me but the father draws Him”. But the scriptures testify of themselves that they are the integral thing within which the Spirit is able to reveal this relationship between God and man. If they are not largely dependable they are a joke, and shouldnt be treated as anything holy, because of what they say about themselves. IMO this would be a falseness to great to ignore/overlook, while at the same time using them to justify arguments and positions that suit my individual persoective.
Sometimes harsh circumstances, brought on by the actions of humanity, become the hammer and the anvil as God shapes His purpose through the “corporate clay of man”. The clay when fully shaped, must still go into the kiln.
God has never been “abhorrent” to violence. I think a lot of our moralizing about how God uses death is just our survival instinct enthroned and worshipped intellectually. Violence and death and injustice and pain are tools He is using in some fashion to bring us into an awareness that we are all connected and that “I am my brother’s keeper”. Like a drunk breaking up on the rocks and finally coming to the end of his wantoness and seeking help, the earth, because of mankind staggers- and God is working in every little bit of it, and the scriptures are the map he has given to go along with the compass of the Spirit.
Men say they abhor violence, then they lay on their couch as the predators of the world consume their prey in the most obvious ways, and yawn, go to sleep, and pretend to wisdom. “For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”- Jesus of Nazareth