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Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God
     

Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God

4.1 11
by Paul Copan
 

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ISBN-10: 0801072751

ISBN-13: 9780801072758

Pub. Date: 01/01/2011

Publisher: Baker Publishing Group

Is the God of the Old Testament Nothing but a Bully, a Murderer, and an Oppressor? Many today-even within the church-seem to think so. How are Christians to respond to such accusations? And how are we to reconcile the seemingly disconnected natures of God portrayed in the testaments?

In this timely and readable book, apologist Paul Copan takes on some of the most

Overview

Is the God of the Old Testament Nothing but a Bully, a Murderer, and an Oppressor? Many today-even within the church-seem to think so. How are Christians to respond to such accusations? And how are we to reconcile the seemingly disconnected natures of God portrayed in the testaments?

In this timely and readable book, apologist Paul Copan takes on some of the most vexing accusations of our time, including:

God is arrogant and jealous

God is guilty of ethnic cleansing

God endorses slavery

God punishes people too harshly

God oppresses women

Christianity causes violence

Copan not only answers the critics, he also shows how to read both the Old and New Testaments faithfully, seeing an unchanging, righteous, and loving God in both.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801072758
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/01/2011
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
178,006
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Part 1 Neo-Atheism

1 Who Are the New Atheists? 15

2 The New Atheists and the Old Testament God 20

Part 2 God: Gracious Master or Moral Monster?

3 Great Appetite for Praise and Sacrifices? Divine Arrogance or Humility? 27

4 Monumental Rage and Kinglike Jealousy? Understanding the Covenant-Making God 34

5 Child Abuse and Bullying? God's Ways and the Binding of Isaac 42

Part 3 Life in the Ancient Near East and in Israel

6 God's Timeless Wisdom? Incremental Steps for Hardened Hearts 57

7 The Bible's Ubiquitous Weirdness? Kosher Foods, Kooky Laws? (I) 70

8 The Bible's Ubiquitous Weirdness? Kosher Foods, Kooky Laws? (II) 79

9 Barbarisms, Crude Laws, and Other Imaginary Crimes? Punishments and Other Harsh Realities in Perspective 87

10 Misogynistic? Women in Israel 101

11 Bride-Price? Polygamy, Concubinage, and Other Such Questions 110

12 Warrant for Trafficking in Humans as Farm Equipment? (I): Slavery in Israel 124

13 Warrant for Trafficking in Humans as Farm Equipment? (II): Challenging Texts on Slavery 135

14 Warrant for Trafficking in Humans as Farm Equipment? (III): Slavery in the New Testament 150

15 Indiscriminate Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing? The Killing of the Canaanites (I) 158

16 Indiscriminate Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing? The Killing of the Canaanites (II) 169

17 Indiscriminate Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing? The Killing of the Canaanites (III) 186

18 The Root of All Evil? Does Religion Cause Violence? 198

Part 4 Sharpening the Moral Focus

19 Morality without a Lawgiving God? The Divine Foundation of Goodness 209

20 We Have Moved beyond This God (Haven't We?): Jesus as the Fulfiller of the Old Testament 216

Discussion/Study Questions 223

Notes 235

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Is God a Moral Monster? 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
johnbattle More than 1 year ago
Atheist warrior Richard Dawkins famously called the Old Testament God "a . . . bully." Rather than replying to this frenzied accusation with similar flourish, Christian philosopher and ethicist Paul Copan presents an argued, nuanced reply. His tone is considerate, thoughtful, and modest. The contrast between him and Dawkins could not be greater. More important than the tone of Copan's response is the content. Copan has provided a wealth of information and a number of ways to approach the questions Dawkins and others raise. The book is divided into chapters, each dealing with one of the major attacks atheists and others bring against the God of the Old Testament and the ethics of the Bible. In the first two chapters he surveys the current status of the debate, identifying the New Atheists and their major arguments. The next three chapters answer attacks against the character of God himself, including his supposed selfishness, arrogance, uncontrolled rage and jealousy, and unreasonable demands, especially illustrated in the story of his command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (later rescinded). I was impressed by his discussion of Abraham, especially by the way he brought in the whole biblical theology of the Abrahamic covenant and the development of Abraham's faith. We should not treat the OT narratives in isolation from their context, as Dawkins and others do. Most of the book deals with the laws and customs of the Hebrews in OT times, as shown in the OT. Dawkins considers them to be silly and weird. Copan does a good job showing the purpose for these laws, especially for the ceremonial laws, which taught covenant truths, and for the judicial or civil laws, which were adapted for the time and place of the ancient Israelite people. Comparing the OT laws concerning marriage and slavery, for example, with those of other nations of the period shows that the OT is far advanced over its surrounding cultures. In the beginning God created humans perfect, with perfect standards. But after sin took its toll, the "hardness of your hearts" that Jesus mentioned required that God give them less than ideal laws, in order to deal mercifully with them. Copan convincingly shows that many of these OT laws were temporary, but very good in their circumstances. Several chapters are devoted to marriage and warfare laws. Again, the OT far surpasses the rest of the Ancient Near East in ethical clarity and humaneness. The ideal comes later, in the New Testament and in the teachings of Jesus. But the OT laws themselves are much better than the New Atheists make them out to be. Copan demonstrates that, correctly interpreted, these laws are humane and just, especially in the cultural milieu in which they are found. Copan concludes with several chapters relating these studies to the modern debate and to our own times. While this is not the main thrust of the book, he does provide good arguments showing the positive good that biblical faith has brought to the world. He also demonstrates that morality, as such, requires a moral Governor. The God of the Bible, revealed in Jesus Christ.
JoshuaSonOfNun More than 1 year ago
First book from Copan, that I have read. Not bad and would consider reading his other books though I would prefer a more scholarly version even though it was written to be very accessible by the general public.
stitchwoman1 More than 1 year ago
finally, someone who tackels the difficult questions keeps God a holy God. thanks Paul!
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1. Map. T.T <p> 2. SILVIE'S FO SHIZZLE <p> 3. High Rock. Or Branch. I can't remember what we use. <p> 4. Main Camp. Not sure if that 'multi res' is as matched as you thought it was, Four. <p> 5. Medicine Cat Den, whenever we happen to have a medicine cat. <p> 6. Warrior's Den <p> 7. Half a multi res. The other half is nine..... shall we make this the nursery for now? <p> 8. Apprentice Den <p> 9. Nursery. <p> Everything else is forest. Yayyyyyy