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Not a tame God
Posted By Eric Sammons On March 9, 2009 @ 11:00 am In Scripture | Comments Disabled
Yesterday’s Old Testament reading  on the sacrifice of Abraham is probably the most difficult passage of the entire Bible. The idea of the God of Jesus Christ asking Abraham to sacrifice his child is shocking. Many in fact have used this story as an indictment of the Judeo-Christian God.
And the truth is that this is a troubling story. Even knowing how it ends does not mitigate its scandal; just asking a father to kill his beloved son is itself terrible, even if you always plan to save the child in the end. Yet this is precisely what God asks of Abraham. Immanuel Kant believed that Abraham was mistaken in thinking that God would ask him to kill an innocent child, and I can see his point. If a friend were to come to me and tell me that God had told him to kill his child, I would assume one of two things: (1) he’s crazy, or (2) he is hearing voices originating in hell. But nothing in the Bible indicates that this was a delusion of Abraham’s; in fact, Abraham’s willingness to obey God even in this terrible act is held up as a model to be admired and followed.
In “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” it is said that although Aslan is good, he is “not a tame lion.” Nothing obliterates the image of the Christian God as a “tame god” more than the story of Abraham’s sacrifice. His ways are not our ways. One thing that is easy to do is to subconsciously think that we have figured God out – that He will act in a predictable way. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is not bound to anything other than His own promises – which He willingly bound Himself to. But He is not obligated to act in the ways that we think are appropriate or that abide by our conception of Him. We, on the other hand, are obligated to obey Him in faith, regardless of what He asks us to do.
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 Old Testament reading: http://www.usccb.org/nab/030809.shtml
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