– After two good lessons, this one is disappointing because it is so misleading about the text of Joshua.
– The author begins with her own bias about God’s promises of the land to Israel, by emphasizing the word “presumption” and implying that because Joshua does not “spell out” in one place the specifics of the promise, the idea of a promised land is not true.
– The ¶ at the top of page 45 is not relevant to the text of Joshua and does not take into account that some modern Palestinians have chosen to remain in “refugee” camps for decades rather than being resettled elsewhere, on the premise that specific locations will be returned to them when Israel is forced to relinquish them.
– The following ¶ seems to advocate for a type of collectivism that is not supported in scripture. This is reinforced by Question 4 and by the last ¶ on page 49 which uses the model of a global village to trump private property rights. This could have political implications far beyond Israel.
– Much of what is written in the sections on pages 48-50 is political discussion of modern circumstances that is not supported by the contexts of the biblical passages cited. One instance is the grouping of Jews, Christians and Muslims. Since Muslims as a religious people did not exist before the 7th Century AD, we cannot read them into the narrative text of Joshua. She would have been on somewhat firmer ground to have written Jews and Arabs or Gentiles.
– Though we are to be reminded that the author of the study did not write the Suggestions for Leaders on page 51, there are a number of problems here that leaders should take into consideration.
– Under the Engage section, participants are invited to discuss the longevity of promises, without the understanding that human foible should not be equated with the faithfulness of God.
– The exercise in the Examine section limits the passages to be read to those that support the author’s premise without considering texts that would refute her claims.
– The exercises in the Explore section also take the author’s premise at face value in framing the discussions. Participants are not invited in advance to bring other resources (biblical or otherwise) which would give another opinion.
– Several points in the Express and Empower sections are extraneous to the study of Joshua.
1) Is the purpose of the study of any scripture to “shape our advocacy” in someone else’s conflict? Does one’s political understanding trump the text of scripture in determining if or what we are to advocate?
2) Who defines what counts as “blessing” apart from scripture? The question as related to the Middle East conflict suggests that to be a blessing means caving in to popular sentiment.
3) Is the premise of the 2nd ¶ on page 50 a valid one in the first place? Does one’s personal security constitute a valid premise on which to base the interpretation of the text as the writer suggests? The wording here seems to prefer a “no” answer with the implications that follow.