it is not uncommon for an innocent Bible reader to read a text like the flood of Noah or the death of the firstborn in Egypt and wonder how in the world God can be involved in such actions, and then to ask what such acts would inform the Bible believer about what God is like.
Some just tell such folks to knock it off or to silence such critical thoughts or they offer thoroughly unacceptable theories, but others want to ponder such texts and to do so within the faith and within some kind of traditional view of the Bible. One such scholar is Eric Seibert at Messiah College, and his new book is called Disturbing Divine Behavior: Troubling Old Testament Images of God
After sketching the principle passages, Seiberts makes a few suggestions, and I want to call your attention to three and see what you think:
1. The God who really is and the God who is sketched in the Bible, that is, the Textual God vs. the Actual God, must be distinguished. And here he is saying that the Bible’s depictions of God are from a human point of view and reflect Ancient Near Eastern views of God that are not modified.
2. The God of the Bible, he says, must be judged by God in Jesus or Jesus as God so that what conforms to Jesus is the Actual God and what doesn’t may be the Textual God.
3. And he argues that the Bible’s inspiration is “general” instead of “comprehensive.” He doesn’t care for accommodation theories and finds the traditional evangelical view of plenary inspiration too problematic so he concludes that inspiration is general instead of comprehensive.