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  • Abraham in Genesis 22: Model or Monster?

    28 July 2021  by Dr William Ford
    'God has told me to kill my son!' How would you respond if someone told you that? On a practical level you would probably seek immediate help for the speaker (and their son) to avoid a disaster. On a theological level you would almost certainly think that the speaker is wrong – God wouldn't ask such an immoral thing!   How, then, do we read and use a passage in the Bible where it appears that God does just that? In
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  • God, Pharaoh and Moses

    7 July 2020  by Dr William Ford
    A God who sends plagues and hardens hearts?1 Arguably the greatest act of salvation in the Old Testament is the exodus from Egypt, recounted in the first fifteen chapters of the book of Exodus. However, the means by which God brings about this deliverance seem deeply problematic. Not only does he inflict violence upon a whole nation (ten increasingly destructive plagues), but he also hardens the heart of Pharaoh, seemingly preventing him from
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  • God Commanding Violence?

    6 January 2020  by Dr William Ford
    At Christmas, we remember the birth of one described as the ‘prince of peace’. We read in the gospels how he taught us to turn the other cheek and love our enemies, before demonstrating this in an amazing display of love by dying on the cross. Elsewhere in the Bible, however, we come across passages that portray God in a rather different way: either commanding or carrying out acts of violence. How do we read and understand these passa
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  • The Foreigner

     by Dr William Ford
    Kill the Foreigner? Love the Foreigner? What should our attitude be towards 'the foreigner’? Living in Belfast as an Englishman with a German wife and two Northern Irish children, I often feel that I occupy a strange position between ‘local’ and ‘foreigner’. This is not to complain in any way about the hospitality that I have received here, quite the opposite! However, the question of how we respond to the for
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