Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dancing with Wolves

I have just included links to the Skeptic's Annotated Bible and its creator Steve Wells' blog Dwindling in Unbelief. Call me a skeptic if you choose, but the truth is I am simply interested in what we can learn from the absurdities, the injustices, the cruelty, violence, intolerance and contradictions that occur in the Bible. Wells has presented a treasure trove of delectable biblical and religious problems that, frankly, I find hard to resist.

For example, when Lot offers his virgin daughters to the angry mob, what moral lesson is being taught? Or why does God, who just destroyed Sodom & Gomorra, seem to turn a blind eye when Lot's daughters get him drunk and bare children by him. And what about that pillar of salt? Such a strange story. One of many curious and troublesome accounts in scripture.

Much like B.H. Roberts' Studies of the Book of Mormon, the issues that Steve Wells presents deserve to be seriously considered by any thinking, believing Christian.

3 Comments:

Blogger Kim Siever said...

So, do you have any thoughts on Lot's story?

May 15, 2008, 4:32:00 AM  
Blogger Steven B said...

Well, of course, we have to ask why many of these ancient stories came to be preserved and given a place of importance to the Hebrew peoples.

In the case of early Genesis, the accounts we have were significant to explain how it came that men and women came to be, and how it was considered that the earth and cosmos came into existence.

So, in the case of Lot, we have a story which is important because of its connection with Abraham and the chosen people, which fact alone may have guaranteed its preservation in the canon. But I suspect it was also helpful to explain the existence of some unique rock and salt formations nearby the dead sea.

What it teaches us today is that the value of women was considerably different then compared to now. So much so, that a father could offer his daughters to an angry mob of rapists, without the slightest condemnation by God or by prophets through the ages.

There is also the sense of wonder and awe when the Chosen People descend from curious or even scandalous circumstances, such as Lot's daughters bearing children from an incestuous union.

Jun 15, 2008, 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Derek P. Moore said...

The pillar of salt thing translates literally to "she became stationary and withered to dust". She died from the misery of regarding with pleasure and desiring to repossess those things which they had left behind, and her grave stood as a mark or post in the way.

Am I the only one with a Strong's Concordance?

Lot himself had his own covenant with the Lord. I added the information to Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenant_(biblical)#Covenant_with_Lot

Aug 21, 2008, 12:44:00 PM  

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