Is God a Moral Monster?

from Google Images

from Google Images

Awhile back I read Paul Copan’s book Is God a Moral Monster? and found it very enlightening. In the past I perused the discussion boards on the internet and at times found it difficult to defend what God did in the Old Testament against the accusations of some of today’s modern critics. Knowing that God is a God of love, helped me to understand that the problem lay not in the idea that he couldn’t be defended, but that I lacked the knowledge in order to do so. I prayed, always prayed, while debating those folks that I would be able to reply adequately. Admittedly, some of my replies were weak, and I knew it, but I also hoped to get better.

God answers prayer, but not always in the moment we would like, and not always in the affirmative. I believe I had to grow a little before God answered that particular prayer. I think it was necessary for me to feel shame and defeat in the presence of my accusers and defamers of God. After all, wasn’t Jesus, himself, set at naught (Luke 23:11; Acts 4:11). It seems, therefore, at times we must also share in Christ’s shame and defeat. before we are enabled to respond adequately to those who treat us so. While in such circumstances, it doesn’t feel like we who are shamed and defeated are being honored, but we are (2Corinthians 4:6-11).

Probably it is necessary to know shame and defeat before we are armed with the truth or the answers to our questions. Why so? I think the reason lay in the idea that we are not to use such things as weapons to defeat our opponent. Rather the love of Christ must shine through the replies we offer the one who speaks against our God. To know shame and defeat seems necessary if the one who presumes to answer for Christ is to respond from the heart of Christ (1Corinthians 4:12-13).

I loved reading Is God a Moral Monster? and felt both blessed and armed with the truth. I’ve decided to make this wonderful book the source of my ideas for my next series of blogs. I hope I do justice to Paul’s work, but in the end, as always, although I have derived my ideas from his works, I take full responsibility for what I write in my blogs. I hope I don’t stray too far from the context of the book, for after all, one should be able to read my blogs and understand that they were inspired by Paul’s work which I recommend to all who read what I have to say.

Finally, I wish to point out that some areas of the book seemed to be lacking in thoroughness or at least not addressing some of the questions posed by some critics. For these questions I consulted Glenn Miller’s work on the web at his Christian Think Tank. In those particular posts I referenced Glenn’s work with the proper link to his studies. However, as concerning the work of Dr. Copan, I take full responsibility for what I have written and my interpretation of Glenn Miller’s works.

  1. A Comedy of Errors
  2. Is God Humble or Arrogant?
  3. The God Gene
  4. Worshiping and Praising God
  5. Another Look at God’s Humility
  6. Is God Jealous?
  7. Why All the Hullabaloo Over an Idol?
  8. Love’s Vulnerable Way
  9. Was Jesus a Meek Lion?
  10. Was the Binding of Isaac Child Abuse?
  11. The Context of the Binding of Isaac
  12. Figuring Out God’s Will
  13. Did God Bully Abraham?
  14. Philosophical Reflections on the Binding of Isaac
  15. God’s Word — Timeless Wisdom?
  16. Is the Word of God Meant to Be Eternal?
  17. God’s Approach to an Uncivilized World
  18. Redeeming Mankind
  19. Does God ‘Settle’ for Less than Perfect?
  20. God Pays It Forward
  21. Holiness and Righteous Pretense
  22. Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
  23. Predatory and Right Behavior
  24. Victims and Injustice
  25. Women and Uncleanness
  26. Barbarism and Crude Laws
  27. Be Ye Holy for I Am Holy
  28. Moses and Hammurabi
  29. Child Sacrifice in Ancient Israel
  30. Human Sacrifice and Jephtah’s Daughter
  31. The Mosaic Law and Human Sacrifice
  32. Does God Hate Women?
  33. The Spirit of Jealousy Trial
  34. Female Impurity at Childbirth
  35. Property and the Levirate Marriage
  36. Why No Female Priests?
  37. Does God Endorse Polygamy?
  38. Does God Condone Rape?
  39. Does God Permit Rape in War?
  40. The Immodest Lady Wrestler
  41. Slavery Verses Indentured Service
  42. Helping the Poor in Ancient Israel
  43. The Dignity of the Poor under the Law
  44. Does the Scripture See the Poor as Property?
  45. Leaving Wife and Children Behind
  46. The Engaged Bondwoman
  47. What About Foreign Slaves?
  48. Prisoners of War and Slavery
  49. The Mosaic Law and Foreign Slaves
  50. What about New Testament Slaves?
  51. Paul and the Slave — Onesimus
  52. Paul and Hagar–What’s That All About?
  53. Does God Wish to Enslave Everyone?
  54. Were the Canaanites that Wicked?
  55. Divine Judgment and the Canaanites
  56. Were the Canaanites Morally Liable?
  57. Was it Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing?
  58. Racism and the Stranger in Israel
  59. Was it a Military Conquest of Canaan?
  60. What Did God Actually Command?
  61. How Was Driving out the Canaanites Fair?
  62. Why Doesn’t God Spare the Innocent?
  63. Who Were the Amalekites?
  64. What Is Genocide?
  65. Was the Judgment of Amalek Genocide?
  66. What About the Amalekite Children?
  67. How Is Killing Children Just?
  68. How Can We View Joshua’s Campaign
  69. Was God Cruel to the Midianites?
  70. What Did Balaam Do?
  71. How Was Midian the Main Adversary?
  72. What Did the Midianite Women Do?
  73. Why Kill Midianite Women and Children?
  74. What Do We Know of Baal-Peor?
  75. Genocide and Noncombatants
  76. Does God Hate the Canaanites?
  77. How to Soften a Hard Heart.
  78. The Untamable God
  79. Is Religion the Root of All Evil?
  80. What Is the Source of Morality?
  81. Does God Lie to Accomplish His Ends?
  82. Did Paul Say Lying Serves God?
  83. Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

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