December 28, 2010

Evil God of the Old Testament

Buona sera. My father was a pastor. He was not very fond of enthusiastic people forming Bible study groups without some form of leadership or guidance. His response was, "A pooling of ignorance". I saw later that it was true to some extent. When you have people sharing thoughts but nobody has studied the subject or had a study guide, people can arrive at completely wrong ideas through a type of democratic process. (I am not advocating the other extreme, that you cannot understand anything without approved leadership, otherwise we should all become Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses and be told what to think.) Some degree of knowledgeable leadership can help.

The same pooling of ignorance happens in atheist circles. Recently, I have been reminded of the "Old Testament God is evil" mindset. How did they get their ideas? Certainly not through researching or consulting experts, which would be imperative with such a serious claim. Referring to Richard "Daffy" Dawkins, a bad philosopher who is "woefully ill-suited for engaging in real philosophy beyond preaching to an atheist pep rally" won't help. The atheist philosophers seem to be more of a "me, too!" crowd, agreeing with each other's mockery and indulging in self-congratulations.

So, if there are readers who actually want to learn something (and do not have their minds already made up, evidence not withstanding), I have some things that intellectually honest people should examine. They are not huge amounts of reading, I do not want to scare you off with too much material. But if you really want to know the truth about the straw man argument that "the Old Testament God is evil", you should look at them, capice?

No, I do not fully endorse everything in each article. I respect people enough to at least be able to get something useful from them, however. Those ought to hold you for a while.


Paul Baird said...

The thing is - either you push 'sola scriptura', in which case people can read the plain wording of the Bible for themselves, or you push 'this is the recommended interpretation of the Biblical text'.

I'm happy for Christians to tell me what's in the Bible (I've not read it for 35 years) and they always provide references.

The debate usually begins at that point. :-)

Bob Sorensen said...

It is often helpful, especially with passages that make you say, "Huh?", to have a guide. Too many mistakes happen when people forget that the Bible is a couple of thousand years old, plus, and was translated from other languages. Factor in the different cultures of the time, too.

Some cults say that the resurrection did not happen on Sunday. They took a modern 24-hour day interpretation instead of learning that Hebrew reckoning of "three days in the tomb" meant part of the first day, all of the second day, part of the third day equals three days.

Rhomphaia (Sword) said...

Great links Storm!
ALL great reads and great explanations!

In one situation recently, I could not seem to get the point across about why God had declared annihilation of a group. This particular group had been cited by God to the Israelites previously. God had told them to pass on through, to not cause any harm to them, etc.

They were said to be an unrepentant people, idol worshippers, often participating in human sacrifices. Well, that same group attacked the Israelites from behind, where the weaker of the people were. Cowardly. God pronounced judgment on them at that point.

But oh how mean God was when He told Saul to destroy them.

And oh how crazy for God to get cross when Saul doesn’t specifically obey.

But God always warns. He always gives space for repentance. He gives much opportunity for people to do right.

Do atheists not believe in justice?

Anonymous said...

Some don't get their own contradiction. If there is no God, then who cares what the Bible says? So, he conveniently exists for them to complain about him, then he ceases to exist again. Vacillate much?

Anonymous said...

No Bible scholar, but even I get that. Saying the OT God is a bad dude & ignoring stuff that shows you might be wrong it flatout stupid.

Bob Sorensen said...

I've encountered so many atheists who will never admit to being wrong about anything, even when you catch them with their hand in the cookie jar of logic, so to speak. That is, showing a lapse in logic, but they fight about that anyway. Offer evidence (or actual proof) that their positions are not sustainable, and you may as well be chasing the wind.

By the way, I won't claim to be a Bible scholar, either. But I do know some things, and have resources available. Many of those resources are available to anyone who will bother to look instead of having an intention of ridiculing the "bad old Christian stupidhead".

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