Frank Kenny: Unveiling the God of War

Frank Kenny delves into the historical and theological evolution of Christianity, shedding light on the conflicts and contexts that have shaped the faith over centuries. In his book, The God of War: How an Ancient God Shaped a Modern World (link), Kenny explores how early Christian sects, political influences, and differing interpretations of scripture have contributed to the complex tapestry of modern Christianity.

The conversation begins by examining the diverse beliefs of early Christian communities and how their conflicts and civil wars influenced the dominant narratives that emerged. Kenny provides insights into the historical contexts of the Old and New Testaments, highlighting the changing portrayals of God and the implications for contemporary faith practices.

Key topics include the role of the state in religion, starting with Constantine’s influence on Christianity and the long-lasting effects of intertwining political power with religious authority. Kenny also discusses the value of viewing the Bible through a historical lens, considering it as a collection of evolving understandings of God rather than a single, consistent narrative.

Nate and Shelby engage with Kenny on the challenges and opportunities that arise from reexamining foundational beliefs. They explore how modern Christians can reconcile historical inconsistencies and find new ways to live a Christ-like life in today’s world.


  • The conversation highlights the diverse and often conflicting beliefs of early Christian sects and how these shaped the dominant narratives in Christianity.
  • Understanding the historical contexts of the Old and New Testaments can provide deeper insights into the changing portrayals of God and their implications for modern faith.
  • The intertwining of political power and religious authority, beginning with Constantine, has had a profound and lasting impact on Christianity.
  • Viewing the Bible as a collection of evolving understandings of God can help reconcile historical inconsistencies and enrich contemporary faith practices.
  • The importance of living a Christ-like life and focusing on actions rather than solely on doctrinal beliefs is emphasized, encouraging modern Christians to find new ways to embody their faith.

After Show

Want to hear Nate & Shelby debrief this episode? Listen to the extra episode!

people sitting in front of table talking and eating

Join 850+ others and become a member

Get bonus episodes, group Zoom calls, private FB group, and remove ads