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The predominance of war in the Old Testament troubles many Christians. However it is an issue that must be faced, says Peter C. Craigie, because it has serious ramifications for contemporary Christian attitudes about war. Craigie categorizes the problems into two kinds --- personal and external. The personal problems arise from the Christian's attempt to grapple with the emphasis on war in a book fundamental to faith. Three areas are considered here: the representation of God as warrior; God's revelation of himself in a book which preserves an extensive amount of war literature; and the seemingly conflicting ethics taught in the Old Testament and the New Testament. The external problems are critiques against the Bible and the Christian faith, based on the war-like nature of the Old Testament and the close association between Christianity and war throughout history. Only by examining and understanding the problem of war in the Old Testament will Christians be able to respond intelligently to attacks on their faith, to educate their youth in the nature of war, and to influence modern attitudes toward war.
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