is god a moral monster sparknotes

In sum, what Copan offers is an informed, patient, and crucially nuanced treatment of the Old Testament moral code. is a welcome entry to the literature with twenty short, engaging and informative chapters that provide a first-rate apologetic treatment of a broad range of issues from curious biblical dietary laws to the Israelite relationship to slavery and genocide. Paul Copan responds to the New Atheist stance that the God of the Old Testament is a “moral monster.” I agreed with only about half of Copan’s conclusions, but his book was well-written, informative, and fun to read. can be summarized as what I call the “Press Secretary Syndrome.” The press secretary, as you no doubt are aware, is the person who serves as the face of government to the press. My second quibble is less significant and essentially a matter of emphasis. Clearly alternative readings seem to be stronger on this issue. passages. A recent string of popular-level books written by the New Atheists have leveled the accusation that the God of the Old Testament is nothing but a bully, a murderer, and a cosmic child abuser. How are In most cases that works fine. My last resistance to the idea of God’s wrath was a casualty of the war in the former Yugoslavia, the region from which I come. What we find in many of the Old Testament laws and regulations are either temporary concessions to human sin (e.g., regulations regarding divorce, slavery, and polygamy) or God’s punitive response to human sin (i.e., God’s commands to destroy certain Canaanite people groups). Filed Under: The Tentative Apologist Tagged With: Is God a Moral Monster?, new atheism, Old Testament ethics, Paul Copan, Copyright © 2021 • Randal Rauser • A Steady Site. But I was disappointed that Copan did not concede his (or anyone’s) inability to completely resolve the moral problems presented by a few other passages. A disgusting display of special pleading whose horrible moral impact the author can't possibly have thought through to its logical conclusion. So where and how to begin responding to these raving claims? As such, it is the job of the press secretary to present the government’s policies and actions in a winsome manner. Scripture’s moral “ideal” when it comes to all human relations, as Copan notes, is found in Genesis 1:26-27, which affirms humans as divine image-bearers who should work together in harmony. Their opinion carries weight, as does the exuberance of a galaxy of other excellent scholars found at the end of this blog post. He describes his flight from Victor’s apartment into the wilderness and his gradual acclimation to the world through his discovery of … In particular, as Copan wisely notes, “We live in a time when we’re very alert to racial discrimination and intolerance, but we aren’t as sensitized to sexual sin as past generations were. Richard Dawkins infamously sums up these complaints and more in The God Delusion when he calls God “a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sado-masochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”. (For a brilliant and inspiring exposition of this point, see Jonathan Edwards’ essay “The End for Which God Created the World.”). In this book Copan squarely faces the most difficult challenges of Old Testament ethics and demonstrates that God is not a moral monster. A prefatory string of adulatory blurbable praises. To represent the Old Testament moral code in isolation of this is a gross distortion of Scripture and a complete Christian ethic. He not only presents helpful rejoinders to the new atheists’ objections but also provides an astute analysis of Old Testament ethics that demonstrates a proper sensitivity to (1) the historical-geographical context of the ancient Near East, (2) numerous complex and perplexing hermeneutical issues that arise in Old Testament studies, and (3) the moral, social, and cultural presuppositions that contemporary readers invariably bring to their reading of the Old Testament. Making Sense of the Old Testament God (Baker, 2011). Is God a Moral Monster? 1141 Words 5 Pages. Making Sense of The Old Testament God. But whether or not readers agree with Copan’s approach to each particular problem passage, his book is sure to educate and edify. I have decided to review Is God a Moral Monster? We live in a time that sees death as the ultimate evil. In chapters 3 and 4 Copan addresses the charge that God in the Old-Testament is both jealous and egocentrically demands worship. Of course one could still object that it is wrong for God to ask such an extraordinary thing of Abraham, even if it is just a test. Making Sense of the Old Testament God. … God is love, and God loves every person and every creature. Copan systematically addresses each of the above objections and more. For those who are willing to approach the text sympathetically, Copan’s treatment of these thorny issues is richly rewarding. opens with a discussion on the new atheism in general. He enters life eight feet tall and enormously strong but with the mind of a … "Paul Copan has written a most powerful and cogent defense of the character of God in the Old Testament in the face of vicious attacks by the New Atheists claiming that the Old Testament God is nothing less than a 'moral monster.' is a question that many people from various walks of life have asked over the centuries and continues to be front and center in contemporary debates. But Copan counters that that it is not always wrong to take innocent human life. Paul Copan. Copan is a distinguished evangelical apologist who received his PhD from Marquette University. In part one of the book, Paul Copan spends two chapters summarizing the angry but flimsy arguments of the New Atheists, and lists their typical complaints against the Old Testament God. Paul Copan’s book, Is God a Moral Monster: Making Sense of the Old Testament God, is the best apologia I have read for the disturbing actions and characteristics of the God of the Bible.I had read a lot on this subject and did not expect to find anything new, but I was surprised to find exactly that. Copan argues that God is not arrogant for demanding worship (chapter 3), and that jealousy is appropriate for a divine being (chapter 4). Making Sense of the Old Testament God. He is also a professor in Palm Beach Atlantic University. This is an excellent book that should be in the personal library of everyone who has more than a passing interest in the topic. At those moments Copan seems intent on denying the denim is substantially worn through. The division of parts is somewhat arbitrary but is borne out of necessity to spare the unsuspecting reader from an unduly long and ponderous blog post. The recent book published by Mary Trump, the president’s niece, identified one thing – that his own sister, a retired federal judge, believed the president was “cruel”. Finally in Part 4 Copan goes on the offensive, arguing for the necessity of God for objective morality (chapter 19) and defending the centrality of Jesus as God’s final word in Christian revelation (chapter 20). Much has been written in recent years on the moral problems with the depiction of God in the Old Testament. 252 pp. is an immensely valuable resource for anyone interested in Old Testament ethics or for those who seek informed responses to the new atheists’ objections concerning the topic. He does make this general point at times, as when he says, “For anyone who takes the Bible seriously, [the] Yahweh-war texts will certainly prove troubling” (188). in two parts. This cannot be stressed enough. In the second part of the review I’ll provide some concrete examples of the press secretary syndrome. Summary: Chapter 11. When the Israelites disobeyed God and sacrificed their sons and daughters, the Bible says they sacrificed them to demons (Psalm 106:37). is the degree to which we as Christians need to rethink in radical ways our reading and understanding of the sacred text if we are to have any persuasive reasoning in this ongoing exchange. I think that for much of the territory covered the standard evangelical views of the meaning and authority of the texts in question is  eminently defensible. Is God a Moral Monster? Even many Christians struggle to understand some of the Old Testament laws, as well as God’s commands to destroy the Canaanites. Moral monster. But the real heart of this section comes in the treatment of holy war and genocidal massacre in chapters 15-17. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Search Search That’s exactly why God is wrathful against some of them. (I was surprised that I agreed with nearly all of them.) Episode 277/278 – Is God a Moral Monster? According to this accusation, God is a “moral monster” since He “created” evil—or because He neglects to do anything about evil. This review should be read as a supplement to Copan’s book. Okay, enough syncophantic, blurbable adulation. attempts a bold apologetic of the Judeo-Christian God's moral status in light of the recent attack on the biblical Old Testament by the so-called new atheists. Clearly the opposition seems to be stronger on this issue. He can be a caring God, or He can be a scary God. These vocal atheists (Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris), both in writing and public debate, interpret the biblical God as a promotor of immoral acts, such as genocide, slavery, murder, rape, and … Is God a Moral Monster? But there you have it. Apologist Paul Copan takes up his pen to this challenge in his book Is God a Moral Monster? Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2011 Introduction Paul Copan is a Christian theologian, apologist, and an author. Copan begins by attempting to make sense of the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac. Paul Copan's Is God a Moral Monster? “Is God a moral monster?” This is the question apologist Paul Copan seeks to answer in response to the harsh criticism from New Atheists about the monstrous God found in the Old Testament. In fact, some of the worst condemnation in the Bible is directed at those who sacrifice their children to Moloch (Leviticus 18:21; Jeremiah 32:34–35)—and archaeological evidence shows that these were usually infants. But there you have it. In the simplest terms, … Is God a Moral Monster? The monster is Victor Frankenstein’s creation, assembled from old body parts and strange chemicals, animated by a mysterious spark. Copan is to be commended for this superb work. The press secretary’s mandate does not extend to admissions like the following: “I think my government’s policy is weak on this point. Is God a Moral Monster - P. Copan - Free ebook download as PDF File (.pdf) or read book online for free. No government is perfect.”, That’s fine for the press secretary, I suppose. Richard Dawkins thinks that Yahweh is a moral monster: “What makes my jaw drop is that people today should base their lives on such an appalling role model as Yahweh — and even worse, that they should bossily try to force the same evil monster (whether fact or fiction) on the rest of us.” This is my review of Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster?Making Sense of the Old Testament God (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2011). Home of progressively evangelical, generously orthodox, rigorously analytic, revolutionary Christian thinking (that's what I'm aiming for anyway). Indeed, at key points the weakness of those ideological commitments shows through like the thinned knees on a worn pair of jeans. Anyone familiar with the writings of the new atheists is aware of their penchant for taking potshots at Old Testament ethics. You may purchase Copan’s book here.This review may be freely distributed, reposted on your personal blogs and websites, printed off, emailed to friends and enemies, or completely ignored. it is eminently clear that Paul Copan is an evangelical apologist and a stalwart defender of standard evangelical commitments to the authority and interpretation of scripture. Again, these are really minor complaints, especially when you consider the breadth and depth of the discussion in Is God a Moral Monster? But at key points the standard evangelical views are not the most plausible readings. Let’s turn now to the interesting part: the disagreements. In Is God a Moral Monster?, Paul Copan describes how wonderful and loving God is while fighting off the accusations of God being a monster by the New Atheists using the Old Testament. An Antidote for Election Anxiety: Lessons from Proverbs 11. Is God a Moral Monster? My central problem with Is God a Moral Monster? Depending on the reader, these will be more or less convincing. is a great example of one stop shopping: get all your major OT apologetic problems addressed in one place. 55:8). Part 3 is by far the largest section in the book as it spans chapters 6-18. Perhaps we need to be more open to the fact that some of our moral intuitions aren’t as finely tuned as they ought to be. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum. Paul Copan wrote Is God a Moral Monster?to address many of the New Atheists’ charges regarding God as He is presented the OT. is an immensely valuable resource for anyone interested in Old Testament ethics or for those who seek informed responses to the new atheists’ objections concerning the topic. Since I’m going to spend the bulk of time focusing on points of disagreement I’ll begin by placing those criticisms within context. But it is disappointing when you sense spin on a topic like ethics and the Old Testament. We can point out that they fall short of the ideals of Genesis 1-2 and affirm with our critics that we don’t have to advocate such practices for all societies” (62). Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster? Wenham and Wright are Old Testament scholars of the first rank. Throughout the Old Testament God shows many different sides. Reading through Is God a Moral Monster? This also means that in acknowledging who God is and being rightfully related to Him, we [re actually functioning as we were designed to function. The question is one that cannot be avoided and must be confronted honestly and thoughtfully. And if you’re not willing to go that far then, to switch back to the earlier analogy, at least say what the press secretary cannot: “I think the standard evangelical take is weak on this point. Then in part 2 I’ll outline some examples of this syndrome and close with some final conclusions. No approach to the text is perfect.”. That is the perspective of the governing party that he represents. Because the book deals with so many controversial and sensitive subjects, I suppose that readers should expect to take issue with some of Copan’s analyses. is a welcome entry to the literature with twenty short, engaging and informative chapters that provide a first-rate apologetic treatment of a broad range of issues from curious biblical dietary laws to the Israelite relationship to slavery and genocide. In this first part I’ll briefly survey the text and then summarize my main objection which I call the “press secretary syndrome”. One good place to begin is Paul Copan’s new book, Is God a Moral Monster? The book is good enough that I am leaning toward including it in the future as one of the four textbooks in the seminary apologetics course I teach (and that, dear reader, is high praise indeed). It is the exact opposite of morality; it's arguing why you don't need to use your own moral compass if God tells you not to, even to the point of murder. What struck me in reading Is God a Moral Monster? There is no passage where God condones actual human sacrifice. The same may apply to our thoughts about what God should or shouldn’t have done in Canaan” (192). Paul Is God A Moral Monster Analysis. Of course, as Copan rightly notes, the new atheists are not interested in nuance, so his responses to their objections are unlikely to change their minds or, for that matter, soften their inflammatory rhetoric. There were a few places in the book where I thought Copan would have done well to concede the difficulty of some of the problematic O.T. First, Copan occasionally refers to God as “other-centered” (e.g., pp. One of Copan’s emphases in the book is that we should not resist the new atheists’ accusation that the Old Testament ethical standards were imperfect:  “Instead of glossing over some of the inferior moral attitudes and practices we encounter in the Old Testament, we should freely acknowledge them. So says Gordon Wenham and Christopher J.H. Perhaps most significantly this section takes on God’s demand to sacrifice Isaac (chapter 5). Creation out of Nothing, How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong, Is God a Moral Monster?, That’s Just Your Interpretation, “True for You, But Not for Me”, When God Goes … Summary Apologist Paul Copan takes on some of the most vexing accusations of our time, including that God is arrogant and jealous, punishes people too harshly, is guilty of ethnic cleansing, oppresses women, and endorses slavery. In chapter 6, he argues that the Old Testament law doesn’t represent God’s ‘ideal’ but is rather a step in the ‘redemptive movement’ of Scripture. Is God a Moral Monster? Indeed, I am not aware of a better book from an evangelical perspective on apologetics and Old Testament ethics. I’m not asking him to give up the jeans: just sew on a patch or two. : Making Sense of the Old Testament God. Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster? Their moral objections target such things as:  (1) God’s desire to be worshipped, (2) God’s preferential treatment of the Israelites, (3) the Old Testament’s apparently low view of women, (4) the Old Testament’s approval of slavery, (5) the divinely ordered massacre of Canaanite people groups, and (6) the Old Testament’s peculiar laws related to food, hygiene, and other matters. Sitting by the fire in his hut, the monster tells Victor of the confusion that he experienced upon being created. 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