Killers of the Flower Moon

“My dad had to live knowing that his father had tried to kill him” (276). 

It is one of the most sobering lines in David Grann’s bestselling Killers of the Flower Moon, the story of the early twentieth-century Reign of Terror against the Osage Nation in Oklahoma, recently made into a major motion picture with Leonardo DiCaprio. The book is a hard read. We read it for our readers’ group at my church, which I lead. (You might consider such a group at your church. We read one book a month for nine months of the year and meet to discuss it. We read across a variety of genres. For more information go to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church | Get Connected ( or email me at [email protected].) It is a hard read because “there are men amongst the whites, honest men, but they are mighty scarce,” said the Osage chief Bacon Rind (313).  “Virtually every element of society was complicit in the murderous system” (316). “This land is saturated with blood,” Mary Jo Webb said. Then she repeated what God told Cain after he killed Abel, “The blood cries out from the ground” (316).

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time (Genesis 6:5).

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:28–31).

Dr. Kent Burreson is Professor of Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary-St. Louis.





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