Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Divine Evil?The Moral Character of the God of Abraham$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Bergmann, Michael J. Murray, and Michael C. Rea

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199576739

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576739.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2020

Satanic Verses:Moral Chaos in Holy Writ

Satanic Verses:Moral Chaos in Holy Writ

(p.91) 3 Satanic Verses:Moral Chaos in Holy Writ
Divine Evil?

Evan Fales

Oxford University Press

According to John Locke, true revelation must conform to our divinely infused moral understanding. This chapter argues that apologetic explanations of the morally ‘difficult’ passages in Scripture fail, unless one resorts to a voluntaristic divine command theory. Special attention is given to the Mosaic Law, the war against Midian, child sacrifice, divine punishments, and the herem against Canaan. It is further argued that Christian soteriology, especially the doctrine of vicarious atonement, is psychologically pernicious and morally indefensible. Among apologetic strategies considered and rebuffed are: dispensationalism, allegorical and interpolative interpretations, denial of the historicity of genocidal wars, demonization of Israel's enemies and other attempts to make the literal text morally palatable, and teleological suspension of the ethical. The price for each of these is interpretive implausibility or moral compromise. Locke's criterion condemns much of Scripture as false revelation. Sociologically informed readings of Scripture provide better explanations for these passages.

Keywords:   allegorical interpretation, apologetics, Christian soteriology, dispensationalism, divine command theory, Locke, Midian, teleological suspension of the ethical, vicarious atonement

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .