Brandon Vogt

Many people are troubled by the apparent violence in the Old Testament, wondering how a good and loving God could, for instance, command the slaughter of entire tribes. This book by Paul Copan, an Evangelical apologist, is the best I know on the topic, and for a limited time you can get it for just $2.99:

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  • andrew

    Hi Brandon- I am currently a wounded evangelical extremely attracted to Catholicism. I have to say that after reading parts of copans book a couple of years back I am pretty skeptical.
    I got the impression that when it comes to ordering the slaughter of babies and children copan says we should rejoice that those children went to heaven and were saved from a life of sin and hell.

    Isn’t this a good argument for abortion as well? Kill the children so that hey don’t become pagan sinners. I don’t buy it.

    I much prefered fr. Barron’s comments on the Old Testament violence where he showed how since the beginning of the faith people have put forth the option of not viewing it as historical fact.

    • Hey, Andrew! Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Like you, I don’t subscribe to everything Copan writes in the book, but I appreciate his general perspective.

      I don’t think Copan’s argument applies analogously to abortion because abortion involves humans taking the life of other humans. We simply have no right to do that. Yet God, from whom all life originates and whose prerogative it is to “give and take away,” has the right to take life whenever and and however he chooses.

      I do tend to lean more toward the Fr. Barron/Origen position of seeing these Old Testament episodes as non-literal accounts meant to communicate theological truths about God’s utter hatred for sin.

      You might enjoy my interview with Catholic scholar Dr. Matthew Ramage, who wrote a good book on this topic from a Catholic (and specifically Thomist) perspective:

      Let me know if I can help your exploration of Catholicism in any other way! My email is [email protected].

      Grace and peace!

© 2019 Brandon Vogt