I think that it fair to say that David Lamb is the Howard Stern of Christianity. He is a “shock jock” in the best sense of the word. His two books, God Behaving Badly and Prostitutes and Polygamists, take a provocative look at some of the most difficult and, frankly, embarrassing questions that the secular world poses to Christianity.
When God Behaving Badly came out in 2011, the subtitle alone was enough to grab my attention: “Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?” Listen to the opening line of the book: “How does one reconcile the loving God of the Old Testament with the harsh God of the New Testament?” (p. 9) (As certainly as some of you think that I mistyped that sentence, I thought the same of Lamb). Reading almost like a theodicy, Lamb spends the following eight chapters taking on the most difficult passages and ideas in the Old Testament. Why did God strike Uzzah dead for steadying the ark? What’s up with the passage that tells a victim of rape to marry her perpetrator? How are we to understand the annihilation of the Canaanites? Lamb does not provide bulletproof answers to all of these questions. This is why, after all, these are called “difficult questions.” He does, however, give some of the better replies that I have heard.
Just when I thought that Lamb exhausted all of the controversial topics in book one, out comes Prostitutes and Polygamists (2015). Overlapping with some of the themes in God Behaving Badly, the seven chapters of Lamb’s latest book cover sex in the Old Testament: polygamy, rape, adultery, prostitution, incest, and homosexuality.
Remember that time you scratched your head while reading that bizarre story in the Old Testament? Lamb probably covers it one of these two books. I could quibble with a point here and there, but for those seeking help with these types of difficult questions and passages, both are worth reading.