Is God A Moral Monster: Making Sense of the Old Testament God By: Paul Copan
(HIGHER IS BETTER)
Time Well Spent
Must Share With Others
Will Read Again
(LOWER IS BETTER FOR LAY PEOPLE)
Newspaper / Magazine
Highly Technical / Academic Text
Table of Contents
PART 1: Neo-Atheists 1. Who Are the New Atheists? 2. The New Atheist and the Old Testament God
PART 2: God: Gracious Master or Moral Monster 3. Great Appetite for Praise and Sacrifice? Divine Arrogance or Humility? 4. Monumental Rage or Kinglike Jealousy? Understanding the Covenant-Making God 5. Child Abuse and Bullying? God's Ways and the Binding of Isaac
PART 3: Life in the Ancient Near East and in Israel 6. God's Timeless Wisdom? Incremental Steps for Hardened Hearts 7, The Bible's Ubiquitous Wierdness? Kosher Foods, Kooky Laws? (I) 8. The Bible's Ubiquitous Wierdness? Kosher Foods, Kooky Laws? (II) 9. Barbarisms, Crude Laws, and Other Imaginary Crimes? Punishment and Other Harsh Realities in Perspective 10. Misogynistic? Women in Israel 11. Bride-Price? Polygamy, Concubinage, and Other Such Questions 12. Warrant for Trafficking in Humans as Farm Equipment? (I): Slavery in Israel 13. Warrant for Trafficking in Humans as Farm Equipment? (II): Challenging Texts on Slavery 14. Warrant for Trafficking in Humans as Farm Equipment? (III): Slavery in the New Testament 15. Indiscriminate Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing? The Killing of the Canaanites (I) 16. Indiscriminate Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing? The Killing of the Canaanites (II) 17. Indiscriminate Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing? The Killing of the Canaanites (III) 18. The Root of All Evil? Does Religion Cause Violence?
PART 4: Sharpening the Moral Focus 19. Morality without a Lawgiving God? The Divine Foundation of Goodness 20. We Have Moved beyond This God (Haven't We?): Jesus as the Fulfiller of the Old Testament
To see the topics covered in the book you only need to look through the table of contents above to get a very clear picture of what this book is about. With that said this is a great book. At 222 pages its a reasonably sized book, plus with large number of chapters it is pretty easy to locate specific arguments and reference them.
The real key to this book is the way Dr. Copan has taken a very large subject. He has taken the Ancient Near East (ANE) context of the Old Testament, and boiled it down to just the right point where the lay reader can get a clear picture of how life was and how that shaped the Biblical person's worldview, moral understanding, and ultimately behavior.
If one reads almost anything by "the New Atheists" then they will get plenty of them complaining about how nasty God is in the Old Testament. This book is an excellent rebuttal to those complaints. In fact, it makes the New Atheists appear unscholarly since they did not acknowledge the ANE context in their books.
I think this is a must read for anyone who is troubled by God in the Old Testament or if they simply want a richer understanding of the ANE context of the Bible. Money well spent...put this in your library too!