By James L. Crenshaw
Within the historical close to East, whilst 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 suitable to place them on trial? What lies in the back of the human activity to impose ethical criteria of habit at the gods? is that this attempt an act of conceitedness, as Kant prompt, or a method of protecting theological discourse sincere? it truly is this question James Crenshaw seeks to handle during this wide-ranging research of historic theodicies. Crenshaw has been writing approximately and wondering the difficulty 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 rules in this perennially thorny factor. the end result sheds new gentle at the historical past of the human fight with this intractable challenge.
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Extra resources for Defending God: Biblical Responses to the Problem of Evil
The shift in Psalm 10 from this concentration on nations to equally dense language about unnamed wicked individuals points away from foreigners to local adversaries (10:2, 3, 4, 13, 15). 15 What have we learned from this brief venture into the mind of the composer of Psalm 10? Precisely this: Any delay in punishing the perpetrators of violence only encourages them to throw off all restraint. Seeing no evidence that a supernatural being watches over humankind and decisively punishes those who act wantonly, persons inclined to proﬁt from others’ weakness nat- the atheistic answer: abandoning the quest 31 urally conclude that no such deity exists.
Here the prophet lashes out at those who hate fair-minded adjudicators, oppress the poor, extract bribes, and divert the needy from legal redress. He pronounces a futility curse on them, warning that they will build houses but not dwell in them, plant vineyards but not drink wine from them (5:10–12). 23 The term obviously has something to do with prudent, intelligent action. In short, an astute individual knows better than to speak when utter lawlessness breaks loose in society. In Amos’s mouth, the remark reeks of irony.
The next chapter will consider this answer to the problem of theodicy. 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.
Defending God: Biblical Responses to the Problem of Evil by James L. Crenshaw