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Tag: Old Testament

Is There Any Difference Between Islamic Violence Today and the Wars of the Old Testament?

Is There Any Difference Between Islamic Violence Today and the Wars of the Old Testament?

I got a great question today from my sister: What would you say to someone who believes the Koran teaches Muslims to kill non believers and the Old Testament people were told to kill groups of people that did not worship God, and they wanted to know the difference? God has taken a lot of heat for the OT wars, especially the ones reported in the book of Joshua, and the later war against the Amalekites. Now Muslims are taking…

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“To explain God so that God makes sense without God”

“To explain God so that God makes sense without God”

I spent a summer in China back in the early 1980s. I was absolutely enthralled with the architecture, the commerce, and especially the language, which was the main thing I was there to study. I would have loved to go back and spend my life there, but it was not the path for me. While I was there, though, I kept wondering, What would it be like for this to feel normal? What would it be like for dragons and…

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The Jealousy of God (Reading Paul Copan Together)

The Jealousy of God (Reading Paul Copan Together)

Paul Copan was more patient than I might have been in his chapter on the jealousy of God. He opens with three mini-vignettes: Recall Richard Dawkins’s put-down of God, claiming that he breaks into a “monumental rage whenever his own chosen people flirted with a rival god.” Popular TV icon Oprah Winfrey said that she was turned off to the Christian faith when she heard a preacher affirm that God is jealous. Bill Maher of Religulous fame (or infamy) has…

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To Make the Charge Stick (Reading Paul Copan Together)

To Make the Charge Stick (Reading Paul Copan Together)

The first chapter of Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster raised very little reaction. It won’t always be that way in this Reading Paul Copan series. I thought it might be helpful to do some advance work on what it would take to make the charge of God’s immorality stick. This flowchart presents a graphical view of what’s required to get there. This should be useful in two ways. First, it helps us to name in advance some of…

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Reading Together: Is God a Moral Monster?

Reading Together: Is God a Moral Monster?

Today only(?) on Kindle: Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God  for only $2.99! A few weeks ago Keith suggested we read through this book together, and now, after a long hiatus due to travel, meetings, and conferences, I’m ready to kick off the discussion. It seems providential that this sale is on today–you can download your copy of the book and start reading. You can use your computer or smartphone to read it…

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Seven Reasons To Give Old Testament Ethics the Benefit of the Doubt

Seven Reasons To Give Old Testament Ethics the Benefit of the Doubt

Why do Christians give Old Testament ethics the benefit of the doubt? That question came up before Christmas, as a result of discussions here on slavery in the Old Testament. There is no denying that the slavery codes in the Pentateuch seem wrong, even barbaric, to 21st century readers (most readers, that is: slavery is still a thriving enterprise of death in our world today). As I will repeat in point 4, “the benefit of the doubt” is hardly required…

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How An Atheist Proves Christians Don’t Think

How An Atheist Proves Christians Don’t Think

Actually this isn’t just how one atheist proves Christians don’t think, it’s how many do it. Not all, but many. It goes like this: “The Old Testament has some really yucky commands in it. If you believe in the Bible you believe in that yucky command. For example, ‘Deformed people can’t come to God,’ or ‘Non-virgins must be stoned with stones,’ etc. But you don’t obey that yucky command, so you really don’t believe in the Bible. In fact, you…

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“God Behaving Badly” by David T. Lamb

“God Behaving Badly” by David T. Lamb

Book Review God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist? by David T. Lamb “How does one reconcile the loving God of the Old Testament with the harsh God of the New Testament?” Say what? You read it right. That’s exactly how David Lamb opens God Behaving Badly. A few pages later he admits the question implies a distorted view of the Bible—but no more than the usual, “Now does one reconcile the loving God…

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“Does the Old Testament Endorse Slavery? An Overview”

“Does the Old Testament Endorse Slavery? An Overview”

A popular-level follow-up to Paul Copan’s book on the ethics of the Old Testament: If Bible-believing Southerners had followed Israel’s law code, antebellum slavery would not have existed or been much of an issue. [From Does the Old Testament Endorse Slavery? An Overview]

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