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Sep 15, 2020

Must we empathise with Nazis? How can we disagree better? Are there limits to forgiveness and how do we avoid becoming monsters as we fight them?

Dr Helen Paynter of Bristol Bible College talks about the weaponised Bible, God and violence.

From right-wing nationalism in the USA to domestic violence pretty much everywhere, the Bible has been used to justify violence and oppression when the christian message is one of liberation and flourishing. 

But knowing this does not let us off the hook when it comes to difficult and nuanced ideas and situations. If we're meant to be inclusive and 'disagree well', does that apply to those whose ideology is hateful, racist or genocidal? Is there a danger either that we force 'cheap' forgiveness on the abused or preach something other than Christ's radical grace? 

We talk violence, faith and conflict with the woman who literally wrote the book on it. We also drink beer, cider, water and tea. Don't tell us we're not a broad church. 

Helen Paynter's book, The Bible Doesn't Tell Me So (Why you don't have to submit to domestic abuse and coercive control) is available now. You should give it a read.

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Jesus Christ is the Son of God and came to teach us a better way to be while reconciling us to God and each other in a way we could never do without Him. He also changed water into wine. Nice.