Paul Copan and the epic fail known as “apologetics”

Thom Stark has just published an extensive critical review of Paul Copan’s recent book, Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God. Is Paul Copan a moral thinker? And I do mean “extensive”: by page count, the review is actually longer than the original book. But most messes take longer to clean up than […]

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

A high view of Scripture isn’t a literalistic one

Even if the book of Jonah didn’t feature the famous big fish, it wouldn’t take much serious study before you realized that it’s not an historical account. Doug Chaplin cites fourteen facts about the book of Jonah that taken together should really point any thoughtful reader aware of the basics of how literature works away from […]

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

“God does not take away life”: a case of confirmation bias?

To get much out of this post, you need to read or already be familiar with the following story from 2 Samuel 14.1-14: Now Joab son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s mind was on Absalom. Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman. He said to her, ‘Pretend to be in mourning; […]

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

The Human Faces of God: Baal’s blazing babies

Review: The Human Faces of God: What Scripture Reveals When It Gets God Wrong (and Why Inerrancy Tries to Hide It) Author: Thom Stark Wipf and Stock, 2010 Chapter 5: “Making Yahweh Happy” After coming to terms with the conclusion of the last chapter, viz. that most of the Old Testament texts present Yahweh as […]

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Lessons from the Canaanite Conquest

Second century heretic Marcion was quite a character. Because the only contemporaneous descriptions of his beliefs that survived are those of his detractors it’s hard to say definitively, but his distinctive teachings seem to have originated in the belief that the god of the Old Testament, Yahweh, was a cruel and evil god challenged by […]

Monday, August 9th, 2010

“Total war” or just plain old war?

Apologist Matt Flannagan once again defends God against the charge of commanding the Israelites to commit genocide against the Canaanites. Not including the final sentence, his concluding statement articulates a very important reminder about the importance of recognizing the Bible as a product of ANE literature: Consequently, if one does not read the texts in […]

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Facing the music: genocide is just genocide

Kenton Sparks contributes a humdinger of a post today, the second post in a seven-part series entitled “After Inerrancy: Evangelicals and the Bible in a Postmodern Age.”  He begins with a starkly stated proposition:  The factual contradictions within Scripture or between Scripture and extrabiblical sources cited in my previous blog are not, in my view, […]

Thursday, June 10th, 2010