The Bible is a religious masterpiece. Its authors cast a profound vision for the healing of humanity through the power of divine love, grace and forgiveness. But the Bible also contains 'dark texts' that pose fundamental challenges to our ethical imagination. How can one book teach us to love our enemies and also teach us to slaughter Canaanites? Why does a book that preaches the equality of all people--male and female, slave and free, Greek and Jew--also include laws that permit God's people to trade in slaves and to persecute those of a different faiths or ethnicities?
In Sacred Word, Broken Word: Biblical Authority and the Dark Side of Scripture Kenton Sparks argues that the 'dark side' of Scripture is not an illusion. Rather, these dark texts remind us that all human beings can error and that at times these errors are recorded in Scripture. What is more, sometimes events in Scripture are recorded erroneously. What are we to make of this situation when we believe that the Bible is God's word?
Kenton Sparks provides us a way forward, a way which takes the text seriously enough to ask it difficult questions while still affirming the revelation of God in Scripture.