Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Is God a Moral Monster? by Paul Copan

Want to make sense of the God of the Old Testament? Paul Copan tries to steer you along in Is God a Moral Monster?.

Many people have trouble reading stories in the Old Testament about God ordering the death of entire people groups. (Found in the book of Joshua) Still others are confused as to why God would instruct Abraham to sacrifice his son when God abhors child sacrifice.

What about the parts of the Bible where God calls himself jealous? Aren't we not supposed to be jealous? Is there a double standard for God and his creation; a kind of "do as I say, not as I do" sort of thing?

Copan touches on this concerns in 4 parts.

Part 1 is the reason for writing this book. Copan is responding to the New Atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. His desire is to point out where their arguments fall short.

Part 2 asks the question: Is God a Gracious Master or a Moral Monster. In this part, Copan addresses the jealously issue, the so-called child abuse sections and why God needs a sacrifice.

Part 3 deals with Life in the Ancient Near East and Israel. Copan details how things were back in the day and how God enters that period with a more compassionate hand. You'll look at some of the laws of Israel and compare them to other Near Eastern laws. You'll dive into the conquest of Canaan and address the issues of massacre and ethnic cleansing.

Part 4 is about Sharpening the Moral Focus. Copan returns to the New Athiests and their arguments that science can bring about good in humans.

This is a compelling read for anyone looking for deep answers to hard issues in the Old Testament.
Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Baker Publishing Group

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