Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters
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Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters  -     By: Iain Provan

Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters

Baylor University Press / 2014 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW300230

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Often maligned as an outmoded and even dangerous text by authors like Richard Dawkins, Karen Armstrong, and Derrick Jensen, the Old Testament is often found to be problematic for modern sensibilities. In Seriously Dangerous Religion, Iain Provan 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.

Product Information

Title: Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters
By: Iain Provan
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 512
Vendor: Baylor University Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
Weight: 1 pound 9 ounces
ISBN: 1481300237
ISBN-13: 9781481300230
Stock No: WW300230

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Author Bio

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

Editorial Reviews

“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 Qur’an. 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

"Seriously Dangerous Religion is a seriously helpful book in that it simultaneously offers what is usually called an ‘Old Testament theology,’ vindicates the Old Testament in the face of its cultured despisers, and demonstrates the diversity among the various world religions all while being written in an engaging manner that should appeal to more than just specialists."

—Nathan Chambers, Journal of Reformed Theology

“What does the Old Testament—one of the foundational texts of western civilization—really say and what is its relevance for us today? Iain Provan’s 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."

—Hon. 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

"[Seriously Dangerous Religion] will be a particularly helpful read for those heading off to university or entering the workforce, but is broad and deep enough that every reader will find much to profit from and to reflect on."

—Daniel C. Timmer, University of Sudbury, Themelios

"This is an incredible book…unlike anything else out there."

—John H. Walton, Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College

"This ought to be the first book an Old Testament seminary professor assigns and the primary or sole textbook for an undergrad 'Introduction to the Old Testament' class. Pastors and priests should scoop it up and pour over it with pen in hand, pausing after every chapter to muse over the points the author makes, and the ways the biblical faith stands out against other traditions and metanarratives."

—Rev. Dr. Michael W. Philliber, Associate Pastor, Heritage Presbyterian Church, Edmond, OK

"I highly recommend this book to readers who want a read a solid defense of the Old Story, of biblical faith, of God's work in the world."

—Claude Mariottini, Northern Baptist Seminary

"Provan's explanations and insightful exegesis also result in helpful descriptions of family, the relationship of God to humanity, and similar topics."

—Shawn W. Flynn, Pro Ecclesia

"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 (Sept./Oct. 2014)

"Iain Provan, one of evangelicalism's finest Old Testament scholars, has provided a much needed book..."

—G. Kyle Essary, Apologetics 315 (January 2015)

"In the world in which biblical studies currently exists, projects such as this are worthy of extended time and reflection."

—Richard S. Briggs, St John's College, Durham University, Review of Biblical Literature

"At its heart Provan’s volume is a book about worldview. For this reason, it offers the reader a unique resource that blends careful and thorough biblical theology and exegesis with cultural analysis."

—William A. Ross, University of Cambridge, Westminster Theological Journal

"[Provan's] 'thinking outside the box' creates a broad range of uses for the work, whether in university classes in world religions, theology, apologetics, hermeneutics, as well non-professional areas as discussion groups and church or Sunday school classes. Seriously Dangerous Religion is a 'must read' for anyone interested in these issues."

—Randall C. Bailey, Faulkner University, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Editorial Reviews

[ Seriously Dangerous Religion] will be a particularly helpful read for those heading off to university or entering the workforce, but is broad and deep enough that every reader will find much to profit from and to reflect on.


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.


Seriously Dangerous Religion is a major synthetic statement of unparalleled scope, deserving a wide readership. It illuminates and challenges, even as it confirms that rumors of the Old Testament’s demise are greatly exaggerated.


At its heart Provan’s volume is a book about worldview. For this reason, it offers the reader a unique resource that blends careful and thorough biblical theology and exegesis with cultural analysis.


[Provan's] 'thinking outside the box' creates a broad range of uses for the work, whether in university classes in world religions, theology, apologetics, hermeneutics, as well non-professional areas as discussion groups and church or Sunday school classes. Seriously Dangerous Religion is a 'must read' for anyone interested in these issues.


In the world in which biblical studies currently exists, projects such as this are worthy of extended time and reflection.


Seriously Dangerous Religion is a seriously helpful book in that it simultaneously offers what is usually called an ‘Old Testament theology,’ vindicatesthe Old Testament in the face of its cultured despisers, and demonstrates the diversity among the various world religions all while being written in an engaging manner that should appeal to more than just specialists.


Iain Provan, one of evangelicalism's finest Old Testament scholars, has provided a much needed book...


Provan's explanations and insightful exegesis also result in helpful descriptions of family, the relationship of God to humanity, and similar topics.

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