We who believe the word of God often think that, because the Bible says something is true or ought to be done, that this should settle the question. However, would it make sense to us, and I’m questioning Christians at this point—would it make sense to us today to actually stone Sabbath-breakers (Exodus 35:2)? If a Christian plays football, would he be unclean until evening, because he was handling the hide of a pig (Leviticus 11:7-8)? Should divorce be permitted or should we stone those who engage in adulterous relationships (Deuteronomy 22:21-24)? If the Law of Moses was meant to be a moral code, isn’t every Christian bound not only to believe but also to carry out its moral values (cp. James 2:18, 24)? Read the rest of this entry »
Author Archives: Eddie
One of my favorite TV programs a few years back was The West Wing (1999 – 2006) with Martin Sheen starring as President Josiah (Jed) Bartlet. I thought Sheen did a very good job expressing what it might be like to hold the most important public office in our country, and, arguably, the world. One of the most memorable scenes (at least for me) was when Sheen appeared before a small gathering at the White House where a woman, Dr. Jacobs, apparently a popular TV or radio personality who hosted a program where people called in to ask questions concerning how they should live their lives, sat in an informal gathering in the White House waiting for the President to ‘drop by’. In the scene President Bartlet was troubled over Dr. Jacobs’ glaring faux pas, concerning her lack of respect for the office of the President. She remained seated while everyone in the room, including President Bartlet, was standing. Read the rest of this entry »
For the sake of argument, let’s assume Genesis 22:2, “Take, now, your son…” is an absolute command by God, and Abraham must do as he is told. Is the ‘command’ of God immoral? Certainly the new atheists of our day believe God is making an immoral request, as understood from Dr. Richard Dawkins’ question concerning the event, “But what kind of morals could one derive from this appalling story?” The question then becomes, is the taking of innocent life always wrong? Read the rest of this entry »
The new atheists of today often point to the binding of Isaac as an immoral act and one of God acting as a bully to get Abraham to willingly sacrifice his son, Isaac. Moreover, they make it seem that Isaac, a mere child (which I show not to be the case in a previous blogpost), was bullied directly by Abraham who seemed intent on carrying out God’s command, and indirectly by God who is responsible for the entire event. Notice how Dr. Richard Dawkins puts it: Read the rest of this entry »
In a previous blog-post I suggested that God, through Abraham, showed he did not desire human sacrifice—i.e. men should not seek his favor by taking the life of the innocent. Human sacrifice was part of the cultural point of view in Abraham’s day. It was practiced for the “good” of the many. If the idea didn’t come from God, as God implies in his command to Abraham, “Don’t harm the lad!” (Genesis 22:12), then the idea that God’s favor could be gained by sacrificing the innocent must have come from man’s own imagination. This has been man’s attitude ever since Eden. We’ve always tried to decide on our own what was right and what was wrong. Morality has always been what we understood it to be, not what God says it is (cp. Genesis 3:22). Read the rest of this entry »
If the binding of Isaac cannot be considered child abuse, as I’ve discussed in a previous blog, how should we understand it? Speaking of the binding of Isaac, Richard Dawkins had something to say and also asks how the story should be understood, if it was not meant to be literal fact (but I believe it was indeed meant to be a literal and factual story). Notice: Read the rest of this entry »
Rabbinic and even pre-rabbinic texts like the book of Jubilees suggest that Abraham successfully navigated a number of trials or tests, including the Akedah, the binding of Isaac, recounted in Genesis 22. However, many contemporary scholars and rabbis have argued that Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son is proof that Abraham failed the test God had set for him or that Abraham passed the test only when he stopped short of slaughtering his son, Isaac.