Rob Bell on dealing with the violence in the Bible:

“We can say at the same time ‘thank God we’ve moved on from that,’ and ‘we have a long way to go.’ Those two things often go together when we read the Bible. The very fact that something seems barbaric is an affirmation of how far things have moved forward.

You have to at some point see things on an unfolding spectrum, an arc. There’s a humility and a gratitude built into it all. To me, that’s one of the powers of the Bible. You see this arc, and the better you can see it and name it there, the better you can see it here and now.”