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Publisher's Summary

Leading apologetics writer with a proven track record tackles the most difficult Old Testament passages and topics, helping listeners to reconcile the God of righteousness with the God of love.

©2011 Paul Copan (P)2016 Baker Publishing Group

What listeners say about Is God a Moral Monster?

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Well-rounded, thorough, and not bulletproof

As much as this audiobook presented material that was often presented in a dry, systematic manner, the narrator and the material hit the mark of completing a sweeping response to all the complaints about the morality of God, His people, and the Law of Moses based on events and teachings in the Old Testament. I was impressed that, as different topics and questions were addressed, I might think of a question or issue with the logic or information presented, and then, before the discussion of the topic was complete, those questions and issues were often addressed! :) I say that Mr. Copan's material isn't bulletproof as an apologetic because folks' perspectives on these topics and questions may not be satisfied with answers like 'the situation was a significant moral upgrade of existing social values' or things like that. For people who see themselves as having a superior intellect and moral foundation to which God must answer, some of Dr. Copan's arguments and conclusions will come short. But within faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ and Him being the fulfillment of the Law and the revelation of God's character in light of that Law, it is a very powerful and condensed refutation of neo-atheist criticisms.

18 people found this helpful

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A well-presented theological response

Far too little attention is given in the popular media today to those who have well-reasoned biblical responses to the claims of Neo atheists that have gone viral and have caused many to embrace poorly examined unsubstantiated claims under the banner of modern reason. This book is a worthy response, based in sound theological argumentation, drawn not only from scripture but also from history and even the positions of moderate atheist who view many popularized neo-atheistic claims as extreme, poorly argued and embarrassing.

Passages of scripture that are often difficult to interpret and used as targets by radical popular atheists are explained within their context and appropriately applied. The erroneous claims of atheist are addressed in a compassionate, but pointed and well researched fashion. This book is informative, enjoyable, and a wonderful contribution to biblical apologetics.

12 people found this helpful

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Alot to think about.

This book refutes attempted secular moral arguments against the God of the Bible. It also discusses the use of hyperbole in the Old Testament.

12 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

This (together with Frank Turik's "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist") is now right up there at the top of my favorite apologetics books. I love the clarity the author brings to the subject; and I also love the humility he has to acknowledge when he doesn't have every single piece of the puzzle. But make no mistake, if you were wondering what the picture looked like before, there are certainly enough pieces provided here to give you a very good idea: God is good, always, and it is demonstrated throughout history. Get the book!

3 people found this helpful

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one of my all-time favorite books

Everyone should read this book. It should be a standard text in church Bible studies and for kids in highschool getting ready to head off to college.

3 people found this helpful

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Rock-solid answers to otherwise confusing Old Testament stories.

Copan gives amazingly clear answers to every question that New Testament Christians and Atheists have posed for years about the Old Testament. Easy enough for new Christians and deep enough for theologians, philosophers and scholars.

2 people found this helpful

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Answering the hard questions of the Old Testament!

Please read this book! It is very long but it's worth it. If you have ever struggled with the Old Testament before this book will answer your questions. Single-handedly this book refutes any Old Testament disputes of what really happened in ancient Israel.

5 people found this helpful

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Dubious at best, fictional at worst

The reader spoke clearly and at a good pace; his voice was not unpleasant. The book material is well organized and I had an easy time following his logic. Many of his claims and explanations sounded reasonable to an untrained, non-academic such as myself. HOWEVER, a great many claims and explanations sounded questionable to me. His description of ancient near east life and history did not sound adequately backed by archeology or other impartial academic sources. Some of his interpretation or explanation of what the bible says seemed to contradict, in my mind, what the bible actually says. And some of his logic seemed outright broken/incoherent based on my limited but partially-studied understanding of logic. I would mention some of these issues that I noted ... but I do not have to. All of my concerns, and many more, were addressed and confirmed by Thom Stark in his paper "Is God a Moral Compromiser" which is available for free on the Internet. Stark, and the authors he mentions in his paper including Copan, are currently involved in back-and-forth discussion. While I could not say who is right and who is wrong on one account or another, my response is to assume that all authors involved are probably incorrect about a number of things and that neither explanation should be taken wholesale, ESPECIALLY not Copan's.

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A Weak Defense, Not Taking Ground

This whole book is meant to deflect serious questions of consistency that believers and unbelievers fairly ask.

The author doesn't reason from a standpoint that God's law is right by definition, and we must therefore submit to it. Rather, he assumes that uneducated and unregenerate people have a leg to stand on when they accuse God of not loving up to modern standards.

Maybe I missed it, but I was hoping to see Paul's take on Matthew 5. Paul seems to contradict Christ directly when he says that the law was never meant to be permanent.

I must say it was very hard to take the rest of this book seriously after hearing Paul say that God's commandments are not ideal. I understand that we have the spirit of the law now, and the spirit of the law is much more demanding. So I fail to understand how anyone can argue for looser restrictions. Again, keeping Matthew 5 in view.

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not bad

I thought it was informative. the author seemed to hold a mainline theological position. Give it a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-15-20

Interesting

An excellent and informative opening into Christian apologetics. A good place to start for the seeker of truth and insight

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Reggie Ankrah
  • 05-17-19

Enlightening

This book encourages you to think deeply about the Christian faith, the essence and character of the Christian God

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-22-21

Compelling evidence and depiction of Yahweh heart.

God fearing,
Character building,
And heart challenging.
Paul's argument against the many common Atheist arguments are grounded in systematic theology and the heart of the biblical texts.
As a mature christian, environmental scientist, and teacher on many of these topics to kids in outdoor education, this would have to be one of the best broading reads of OT texts, and true God fearing charter I have read.
Growing up in the west we have so many culture thoughts and preseptions on many faiths and way we live, but realising how wrong we have God's heart is only a true testament to our brokenness.

Highly recommend the read to those of any faith with these questions, as this will deepen a depiction of Yahweh with a new perspective on his involvement with humanity and we're we have come as a people and why God has our best intentions.

God's perspective is far beyond our mere understanding.

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  • Jared E. Pritchard
  • 08-31-20

Extremely insightful and measured

A lot of very deep fundamental what-I-thought-were-problems in the bible are treated with very clear, and balanced, analysis. The issues are shown to be very different in nature than they seen at first glance.

Paul doesn’t cop out, hand wave or skim over any of the issues. It feels like the arguments for each issue that have been called out by skeptics in the past have a more natural fit / answer through the lens Paul brings. Although I’m sure some could benefit from even more probing, the level of assessment is still very satisfactory and more than enough to assure the reader that it is very reasonable - more reasonable in fact - to understand that God is not the moral monster they may have thought him to be.

Paul’s non-inflammatory and measured assessment makes it a very suitable resource for many purposes. It’s a reference book for a believer to deepen their knowledge of God or to learn a broader context for apologetics; but can easily serve as a gift to a skeptic / atheist who is open to challenging their own thinking .

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  • PLOM
  • 09-03-19

an important contribution to the debate

I enjoyed the organisation and content. I think everyone can learn something from this book. Probably a key lesson is that just because it is reported in the bible doesn't mean God likes it. Also seek the root meaning of controversial words and don't just rely on translations. Deeper reading of the scriptures will be always be rewarded and this book will help you look deeper.