Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God
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. This viewpoint is even making inroads into the church. How are Christians to respond to such accusations? And how are we to reconcile the seemingly disconnected natures of God portrayed in the two testaments?
In this timely and readable book, apologist Paul Copan takes on some of the most vexing accusations of our time, including:
God is arrogant and jealous God punishes people too harshly God is guilty of ethnic cleansing God oppresses women God endorses slavery Christianity causes violence and more
Copan not only answers God's critics, he also shows how to read both the Old and New Testaments faithfully, seeing an unchanging, righteous, and loving God in both.
A Springboard for Clarifying Misunderstandings and Misperceptions
By George P. Wood - February 8, 2011
In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins writes:
"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."
In short, God is a "moral monster."
Paul Copan begs to differ with Dawkins' evaluation of the Old Testament God, not to mention the similar critiques of other New Atheists--e.g., Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. In Is God a Moral Monster? he uses these critiques as "a springboard to clarify and iron out misunderstandings and misrepresentations." More than that, he essays to defend the justice of God, properly understood and correctly presented.
This is an enlightening read, and is true of all Paul's books, well crafted and researched.
What he has done with this book is to take his studies and research in biblical studies, philosophy of religion, Christian apologetics and compile it in a logical fashion to answer the critics of Christianity. Paul puts to rest the public perception that there is a difference between the "God of the Old Testament" and Jesus' words of love in the New Testament, "...all men will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35); the seeming contradictions between the Old Testament and New that continue to plague Christianity today.
Chapter by chapter Paul addresses all the common fallacious understandings of the "New Atheists" that should have been shot down by most Christians a long time ago. Sad to say, most of these misunderstandings have been absorbed by atheists like Christopher Hitchens directly from sloppy teaching coming out of the... read more
Christians sometimes approach the Old Testament with a mixture of awe and bewilderment, knowing that it contains pearls of wisdom, but unsure how to dive for them ... especially when it comes to the ...
This standard textbook on the background, content, and message of the Old Testament is now thoroughly revised and updated and takes full account of new research in the field of Old Testament studies. ...