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The Old Testament is often maligned as an outmoded and even dangerous text. Best-selling authors like Richard Dawkins, Karen Armstrong, and Derrick Jensen are prime examples of those who find the Old Testament to be problematic to modern sensibilities. Iain Provan counters that such easy and popular readings misunderstand the Old Testament. He opposes modern misconceptions of the Old Testament by addressing ten fundamental questions that the biblical text should--and according to Provan does--answer: questions such as "Who is God?" and "Why do evil and suffering mark the world?" By focusing on Genesis and drawing on other Old Testament and extra-biblical sources, Seriously Dangerous Religion constructs a more plausible reading. As it turns out, Provan argues, the Old Testament is far more dangerous than modern critics even suppose. Its dangers are the bold claims it makes upon its readers.
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Table of Contents

1 Of Mice, and Men, and Hobbits Stories, Art, and Life 2 The Up Quark, the Down Quark, and Other Cool Stuff What Is the World? 3 Slow to Anger, Abounding in Love, and (Thankfully) Jealous Who Is God? 4 Of Humus and Humanity Who Are Man and Woman? 5 It Isn't Natural Why Do Evil and Suffering Mark the World? 6 On Living in a Blighted World What Am I to Do about Evil and Suffering? 7 Even the Stork Knows That How Am I to Relate to God? 8 Love All, Trust a Few, Do Wrong to None How Am I to Relate to My Neighbor? 9 On Keeping the Earth How Am I to Relate to the Rest of Creation? 10 I Saw the New Jerusalem Which Society Should I Be Helping to Build? 11 A Bird Perched in the Soul What Am I to Hope For? 12 Further Up and Further In New Dimensions in the Old Story 13 On the Judicious Closing of the Mind The Question of Truth 14 Risk Assessment Is the Story Dangerous? Postscript: Biblical Faith for a New Age Notes Bibliography Scripture Index Index of Authors Subject Index

About the Author

Iain Provan is the Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies, Regent College. He lives in the Vancouver, Canada area.


A rare combination of deep and wide learning and a compelling and clear writing style. Provan is as comfortable in Mesopotamian texts as in Agatha Christie, the Rig Veda, Lord of the Rings, or the Quran. He opens the Old Testament onto a world he believes needs to hear its distinctive notes in a creative and engaging presentation. -- Reverend Christopher Seitz, Senior Research Professor, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto What does the Old Testament one of the foundational texts of western civilization really say and what is its relevance for us today? Iain Provans scholarly and practical answers to these questions will challenge Old Testament critics, enlighten believers, and provide guidance in bringing faith perspectives to bear on the challenges of the modern world." -- Honourable Preston Manning, PC CC AOE, Founder of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy and former Leader of the Official Opposition in the Canadian Parliament Iain Provan thinks and writes outside the academic box. He asks questions that matter for life, and he shows what is at stake in taking seriously a biblically-rooted vision of reality. -- Walter Moberly, Durham University Iain Provan, one of evangelicalism's finest Old Testament scholars, has provided a much needed book... -- G. Kyle Essary -- Apologetics 315 Seriously Dangerous Religion will be helpful to Christians and non-Christians alike who struggle to understand how the Old Testament relates to our modern world. -- Elliot Ritzema -- Bible Study Magazine

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