Thursday, January 19, 2006

Holtz Says God Is An Immoral Murderer

Holtz speaks of "the murderous immorality of Yahweh in the Torah." Holtz implies that God is hateful/wicked/spiteful, but the things God hates are treachery, cruelty, violence, and hypocrisy, which can cause the destruction of people and communities and eliminate trust, joy, innocence, safety, and beauty. "Faith in and hope for divine providence" are not "misplaced", because God's incentives toward constructive lives express His commitment to warmth, robustness, cooperation, nurture, development, and expansion of the community. John 3:16 is a perfect indicator of God's providence. Contrary to Holtz's argument, Yahweh's judgment was never capricious or unpredictable. God's "vengeance" is justice and redemption which restores balance upset by wickedness.

Holtz fails to realize that a large fraction of the punishment/consequence of evil is built into the system [Psalm 7:14] and involves no extra action on God's part, such as when prodigality naturally affects a prodigal person. Much destruction is self-inflicted. Atheists and biblioskeptics mistake God bringing closure and justice to a community for wrathful vengeance. God does not force forgiveness because many people don't desire forgiveness, and doing so would be a violation of free will.

Righteous Jealousy Not Sinful Envy
God's "jealousy" is used in the Bible to indicate His strong commitment to someone and his well-being, not envy as is commonly understood.