Q & R: Also on children (and for adults too)

Here’s the Q;

I’ve heard you speak several times this year but at Luther you said in passing ….you can’t preach David and Goliath without preaching about David and the Temple….That was interesting to me and think I get what you mean but do you have any resources available that you elaborate on this?

Here’s the R:
This statement reflects something I heard biblical scholar and theologian Dr. Tom Boomershine say … As founder of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, he is concerned that Bible stories be told to further the cause of peace. So – if we tell the story of David slaying Goliath, our hearers could come away with this conclusion: “God gives small individuals and groups the power to kill big, powerful adversaries.” That’s not the kind of message many of us would want to send.
So Tom notices that later in David’s life, when he wants to build a temple to honor God, God says no. Why? Because David is “a man of bloodshed.” So the latter story produces ambiguity about the former story. It doesn’t allow the image of a violent God who empowers violence to get the last word.
Something similar happens when we tell the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Again, God appears to deal with religious conflict through violence based on that story alone. But then skip ahead to the Gospels, when the disciples ask, “Should we call down fire upon those guys?” – referring to a potentially competing movement. Jesus replies (Luke 9:55), “You do not know what Spirit you are of.”
I write about this subject at some length in three of my books:
Everything Must Change
A New Kind of Christianity
Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road
Reading the Bible for peace will also be central to my upcoming book (June 2014), We Make the Road by Walking.
Thanks for asking this important question!