Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Apologist Interview: Paul Copan - Is God a Moral Monster?

Today's interview is with Christian apologist and philosopher Paul Copan. This is my second interview with Paul - the first covered a number of different topics for apologists -- but today's interview focuses on his recent book entitled: Is God a Moral Monster? Making sense of the Old Testament God. He explores the questions of the "mean" Old Testament God, is God proud and jealous, Abraham being commanded to sacrifice Isaac, challenging Old Testament laws, slavery, and the judgement of the Canaanites.

Full Interview MP3 Audio here (55 min)

Some of Paul Copan's other excellent books:
• True for You, But Not for Me: Overcoming Objections to Christian Faith
• When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics
• How Do You Know You're Not Wrong?: Responding to Objections That Leave Christians Speechless
• That's Just Your Interpretation: Responding to Skeptics Who Challenge Your Faith



Corey Fleig said...

I'd like to see some discussion on Paul Copan's treatment of O.T. references to God wiping out men, women, and children. His published papers explain that its a style of literature, and that women & children aren't really included. He comments further by explaining where cities and army outposts are situated, to suggest that a city would be untouched while whe outpost wiped out. But this is picking and choosing Biblical meaning. If a passage in context says "Men, women, and children" it might mean just that! I showed his papers to Seminary students who raised grave concern about the most basic exegetical principles. I'm not at all claiming superior understanding - I'm saying I fail to see how Copan justified his explanation.

Brian said...

I would need to look into it further, Corey. But one thing he does mention is that in one instance, there is a report that everyone has been wiped out - but then a few verses later the enemies still remain.

The exaggerated war language (as seen in other comparable historical sources) does seem to explain this.

So I would say that this should be applied where appropriate - but shouldn't be used as a blanket statement that dismisses every instance. Feel free to discuss!

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