shedding new light on stories of old

The Joy of Cynicism and the Death of Beauty - Preview 7

We’re never on shakier ground when we presume to examine the past through the lens of our own perspective

A Lack of Perspective

Because Every Story in The Bible Needs to Be Told in Its Proper Context

As for the so-called “incongruities” in God’s judgments in The Bible, let me point out the most important factor in judging the quality of justice: We’re never on shakier ground, morally speaking, when we, as a modern audience, presume to examine the past through the lens of our own perspective. When this happens, it becomes almost impossible to arrive at any accurate conclusions about the past, as is the case when we make moral judgments of people who lived in a time when such practices as polygamy, incest, and slavery were considered normal. One may accuse me of being inhuman or uneducated but in the context of moral judgment, such accusations exist more in the realm of feeling than of fact.

As for the facts concerning God’s judgments of Adam and Eve’s descendants, we must first ask the question: What is the actual context of humanity’s predicament as members of a race of outcasts of Eden? Remember how we learned that, based on a biblical view of such matters and not merely a humanistic view, the presence of suffering, disease, and death didn’t occur simply as a punishment. It was also a form of God being faithful to His promise that Adam and Eve would die if they partook of the Forbidden Fruit, which in turn laid the foundation for our hope in God’s promise of eternal life to those who trust Him. But to the cynical mind, such things are sheer nonsense and thus the furthest thing from their minds; and so they’d be the first to conclude that all suffering, disease, and death for any reason is unjust according to their so-called “human standards of morality.”

(…you’re reading Part 13 of a 18-part series. If you like what you’re reading and want to continue, please SCROLL DOWN. Or to read this series from the beginning, go to Part 1…)
Story Continues Below
To watch author and biblical historian W. Kent Smith discuss the contents of his book On Earth as It is On Heaven, at the Sacred Word Revealed Conference 2023, hosted by Zen Garcia, CLICK BELOW.

Story Continues From Above

Seen in the context of the biblical record, though, we might finally face two inescapable conclusions: First, God can never be found guilty in any court of law—human or cosmic—of any human death, any more than you or I could be found guilty of a crime that we never committed. And second, since so much of human suffering is the result of our own actions, we must now acknowledge the absurdity of applying our standard of morality to indict God for such results.

Next, we need to analyze the context of those other events in which critics of The Bible insist that God acted in a savage and criminal manner. First, we’re told God acted barbarically when he destroyed an entire world in the Great Flood. Just think of it, they exclaim: Every man, woman, and child on the planet, killed! Every animal, every living creature on the planet, killed! Did they all really deserve to die so horribly?

Admittedly, on the surface, asking such a question does seem warranted. On the surface, that is. Unfortunately, biblical stories like these have always been the greatest source of cynicism when we consider just how much they contradict the idea of a loving and merciful God. But just as unfortunate is the fact that when it comes to condemning God for such apparently monstrous actions, upon further review the real monster turns out to be of a completely different species. That’s because if we read the Scriptures for ourselves and actually take the time put the story of Noah’s Flood in its proper context, we can’t help but see it an entirely different way. Let’s see what I mean by that.

So ends this Preview of THE JOY OF CYNICISM AND THE DEATH OF BEAUTY. To read more, please click on one of the following links:

To continue with this series, read an Excerpt to see that we’re never on shakier ground when we presume to examine the past through the lens of our own perspective.

Read the Next Preview to learn that the presumed evils of scientific progress aren’t by-products of the Industrial Revolution but of hope disappointed.

Read the Next Excerpt to find out how the story of the building of the Tower of Babel illustrates the joy of cynicism for us.

Read the Previous Preview to discover how, without being “cast out” of the womb of Eden, we’d never be able to realize our full potential.

Read the Previous Excerpt to find that only the most cynical among us can’t deduce that the One Who created our mouths and ears can’t communicate with us.

To read this series from the beginning, go to the First Preview to embark on a journey that takes an unexpected turn in search of an antidote to the most corrosive force in God’s creation.

To get a copy of The Joy of Cynicism and the Death of Beauty, CLICK HERE.