By James L. Crenshaw
Within the historic close to East, while the gods detected gross impropriety of their ranks, they subjected their very own to trial. whilst mortals suspect their gods of wrongdoing, have they got the perfect to place them on trial? What lies at the back of the human undertaking to impose ethical criteria of habit at the gods? is that this attempt an act of vanity, as Kant advised, or a method of retaining theological discourse sincere? it's this question James Crenshaw seeks to handle during this wide-ranging learn of historical theodicies. Crenshaw has been writing approximately and wondering the problem of theodicy - the human attempt to justify the methods of the gods or God - for a few years. during this quantity he offers a synthesis of his principles in this perennially thorny factor. the end result sheds new gentle at the background of the human fight with this intractable challenge.
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Additional resources for Defending God: Biblical Responses to the Problem of Evil
If the comment originated as an editorial gloss on a prophetic word, it may be an oblique reference to the dark fate of the prophet, only hinted at in the brief narrative about the conﬂict between Amos and the priest Amaziah (Amos 7: 10–17). 24 God’s search for a single wise person who longs for the deity the way the thirsty crave water has ended in vain. That is the import of the declaration in the atheistic answer: abandoning the quest 35 v 3. The repetition of the assertion from v 1 that none does the good turns it into a sort of refrain.
This page intentionally left blank 2 Alternative Gods Falling Back on a Convenient Worldview Man is the Cosmic Orphan. ” —Loren Eiseley Historians of intellectual development in the ancient Near East would do well to record two revolutionary events within the Psalter. The ﬁrst sees the author of Psalm 82 deconstruct the notion of a host of deities comprised in a heavenly assembly, analogous to royal courts below. An utter failure to protect the rights of marginalized citizens, to ensure social and ethical justice, has convinced the psalmist that the divine assembly has forfeited its claim on terrestrial devotees.
33 This image of the deity as a safe asylum during times of danger permeates the book of Psalms. Given a culture where anyone who had been wronged felt it necessary to avenge the offense and where a kinsman was obligated to restore honor to the family, the necessity for places of refuge is obvious. The Bible mentions cities of refuge (Exod 21:13; Num 35:9–15; Deut 4:41–43, 19:1–13; Josh 20:1–9), as well as sacred places like the altar, where persons could reasonably count on being safe. The fact that not everyone respected the sanctity of those places did not prevent the idea from being transferred to the deity (1 Kgs 2: 28–34).