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Old Testament Violence Apologetics

Sermons And Essays

This essay was written as a response to someone who was distraught by the violence in Old Testament, figuring that this makes God unjust and cruel. Does the violence of Old Testament really make God unjust, unfair and not loving?

Hello @Honestman400. I understand your point of view but I do not think that it is how he sees it. I think that in a person, presence of faith and presence of belief in God demands the acceptance that all things come from God, good or bad. Otherwise God is not in control of everything and bad things are just deeds of men or "accidents." And if something is an accident, then it nullifies your faith. So as you can see, this point of view, foremost is dependent on presence of faith in a person.

Faith in God demands acceptance of things like that. If you have faith, by reason you realize that God is in control of everything. But it doesn't mean that he believes in a God who is unrighteous or cruel.

There are other parts of his faith that allow him to believe what he does. For example that God is just. Everyone dies, so if, like you say God slaughters anyone, why is it a more of a crime than natural death. If, a non-believer dies, he no longer can experience life or satisfaction of life. And according to that person, nothing happens anyway. I do not believe this, in this way either, but if, according to what you said, God "slaughters innocent people", then why it is a big deal, to a person who doesn't believe such a God exists? And how is it unfair to that person if they have no faith in God?

Making a statement about denying a God, who you don't believe exists, and who is cruel according to your description, implies that in order for it to be true, he must exist. And he does, then these very things must be true. I really think it depends on presence of faith in a person. If it is present, person believes that, if not, then not.

Also I think John Piper believes in a faithful God who fulfills his promise. And knowing what those promises nullify "bad" events in terms of what these promises are actually offering (eternal life with God.) It is tied to faith in God.

If faith is present in a person they must to accept all these things for what they are, according to that faith. If it is not present, then of course things like these will seem cruel and difficult to justify. God is a God of justice too. Things he promises to provide are much greater than calamities that are being experienced by many. Besides, all people die a physical death. But if you have faith you believe also in the promise of a life with God. For this reason, I do not think John Piper sees it in the way you said it. I think he sees God's mercy and grace in spiritual things, and these things are greater and truthful than observable physical reality. As it is, faith is belief in unseen. It makes sense to me.

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