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Defending GodBiblical Responses to the Problem of Evil$
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James L. Crenshaw

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140026

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195140028.001.0001

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A Demon at Work

A Demon at Work

Letting Benevolence Slip

(p.55) 3 A Demon at Work
Defending God

James L. Crenshaw

Oxford University Press

Rather than defining God as essentially good, one can attribute a flawed character to the supreme being. Two biblical stories reflect this approach to theodicy, describing YHWH, the special name for Israel’s God, as demonic. In Gen 22:1–19 God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac on a distant mountain, and in Job 1–2 God wrecks human lives through a heavenly agent, the Satan, without cause (khinnam). Other harrowing tales in the Bible describe objectionable divine conduct best viewed as demonic.

Keywords:   demonic, flaw, YHWH, Genesis, Abraham, sacrifice, Isaac, Satan, Job, good

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