Saturday, 29 January 2011

Stark choices (7)

Child sacrifice - faithful Abraham? (R. Crumb)
I intended to structure the Stark choices series as a review of The Human Faces of God, but that's clearly not the way it's working out. Thom Stark just has so many worthwhile things to say it's tempting to just précis some of that material. That's a compliment to Thom, but cause for a bit of self-inflicted wrist slapping on my part. Truth to tell, the sting in this series comes at the end, with the two final chapters, and I'm longing to get to that point. But, hey, there's just so much good stuff leading up to there, so maybe it's time to scan through chapters 4 through 8.

Ch. 4. Yahweh's Ascendancy: Whither Thou Goest, Polytheism?

Ch. 5. Making Yahweh Happy: Human Sacrifice in Ancient Israel.

Ch. 6. Blessing the Nations: Yahweh's Genocides and Their Justifications.

Ch. 7. The Shepherd and the Giant: Government Propaganda.

Ch. 8. Jesus Was Wrong: or, It's the End of the World as We Know It and I Feel Fine.

There's enough here to keep us going till next Xmas. This is quite a tour de force, but any further summarising on my part won't do justice to the book itself. If I had to pick the chapters that most had me riveted, they'd probably be the ones dealing with human sacrifice in the Old Testament (hide your firstborn!) and the following one on the genocidal dictates of an angry deity. I'd thoroughly recommend this book, though, on the basis of any one of the above chapters.

Along the way Stark deals to the arguments presented by such apologetic luminaries as Walter Kaiser, William Lane Craig, Gleason Archer, Christopher Wright, R. A. Torrey, Eugene Merrill, Eric Seibert and Paul Copan. Even N. T. Wright doesn't escape.

Okay. Decks cleared. Next time we'll move into chapters 9 and 10.

1 comment:

  1. Supposedly, the (almost) sacrifice of Isaac is a "shadow" of the sacrifice of Jesus. No comparison.

    For Jesus to "fulfill" that sacrifice he would have had to be tied to an alter and had his throat cut and then burnt.

    Supposedly, Jesus' one sacrifice fulfilled all the animal sacrifices but the only one he could possibly fit would be the Passover lamb and nothing else.

    However, even that doesn't work because the Passover lamb had its throat cut and it didn't come back to life afterward.