God & the Old Testament

Here is an article by David Plotz for Slate who encourages Bible reading.  Realizing that he knew very little about the “good book,” Plotz set out to read every word of the entire Bible.  Now that he has actually read the book, he recognizes the Bible’s contribution to literature and his Jewish tradition. While he may have read every word, his conclusions about God demonstrate that he does not understand its message.  Plotz states,

I can only conclude that the God of the Hebrew Bible, if He existed, was awful, cruel, and capricious. He gives us moments of beauty—such sublime beauty and grace!—but taken as a whole, He is no God I want to obey and no God I can love.

Further in the article he asks,

If God made me, He made me rational and quizzical. He has given me the tools to think about Him. So I must submit Him to rational and moral inquiry. And He fails that examination. Why would anyone want to be ruled by a God who’s so unmerciful, unjust, unforgiving, and unloving?

While Plotz believes he came “to know the true nature of God’s conflict with Job,” he misses Job’s submission to the God who is in control of Job’s world (Job 42).  I am curious to know what Plotz thought of Isaiah 29:16:

You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, that what is made should say to its maker, “He did not make me”; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?


I applaud the call for greater Bible literacy.  I just pray that others will read the Bible with an understanding of its message as well as its words.  (This article is helpful to understand the struggles many (even Christians) have with the God who inhabits the pages of the OT).





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