At present, I'd like to reply to Barbara a bit more about my reading of Deut 21:10-15. Barbara writes:
As a captive of war, the woman was probably going to end up as a slave or concubine; isn't that right? This seems a far better outcome, to me; the man is being constrained and the woman has a chance at a better life - no better or worse than any other woman.Barbara, I think that I understand your point. In a world where misogyny is the norm, any step toward humanization should be seen as good news. I wouldn't want to dispute this.
But as I hint in my post, I'm not only wrestling with this text as a window into an ancient culture. For me, this text is sacred. And if sacred, then very troubling. This text has shaped my culture, my religion, and will continue to shape my faith community.
I wrestle with it not because I want to, but because I need to. And if what Larry says is true, that "God is good" - and I really want to believe this despite my doubts - then I cannot help but be repulsed by a representation of the voice of God that grants misogynistic and warlike premises.
Do you hear my concern? I'm not trying to write the definitive word on this... I wouldn't want to give the impression that an adversarial posture is the only viable posture. I'm just working out this messy relationship as best I can.