MandM header image 2

Matt to speak at the 2013 Evangelical Philosophical Society in Baltimore on Divine Commands re Abraham and Isaac

September 20th, 2013 by Madeleine

This blog’s Matthew Flannagan has had his paper “Divine Commands and Biblical Authority: The Problem of Gen 22″ accepted for the National Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society (“EPS”). The abstract for Matt’s paper is as follows:

Evangelical Philosophical Society“One perennial objection to divine command meta-ethics is the possibility that God might command something abhorrent. Divine command theorists have responded that God is essentially good, as such, it is impossible for him to issue an abhorrent command. One challenge to this response, for those divine command theorists who accept a robust view of biblical authority, is the story of the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22. In this story God is said to have commanded human sacrifice; given that human sacrifice is abhorrent, and it is impossible for God to command the abhorrent, Biblical authority seems incompatible with the acceptance of a divine command theory.

This paper responds to this challenge. First, I will argue that a careful reading of Genesis 22 in its literary context suggests God issued the command in a particular context. Second, drawing from discussions of the problem by Robert Adams Immanuel Kant, and Philip Quinn, I will discuss the circumstances under which a divine command theorist can rationally and coherently attribute a seemingly immoral command to an essentially loving and just God. I will argue that the context of God’s command in Genesis 22 is such that a divine command theorist can defensibly attribute it to an essentially good God without abandoning a robust view of biblical authority; the story of the binding of Isaac does not provide a divine command theorist with a defeater for belief in biblical authority.”

The conference theme will be “Revelation and Authority.” The Plenary Speaker is Richard Swinburne of Oxford University. The draft copy of the ETS-EPS program is available here.

Matt has also had a paper accepted for the Evangelical Theological Society’s Annual Meeting which is also in Baltimore around the same time – see Matt to speak at the 2013 Evangelical Theological Society in Baltimore on Feticide.

As with previous years we will be fundraising to raise the $2,500 NZD to get him there . Donations greatly appreciated.

Tags:   · · · · · · 9 Comments

Leave a Comment


four − 1 =


9 responses so far ↓

  • Jephtah’s daughter proves Yahweh loves human sacrifice!!!

    Yahweh’s one sexist god, he sends a ram for Isaac, but didn’t do didly squat for Jeppie’s daughter

    Its an open and shut case

  • Jephtah’s daughter proves Yahweh loves human sacrifice!!!

    You’ll have to spell out how that follows, how does the incident in Judges 11 show God loves human sacrifice?

    Yahweh’s one sexist god, he sends a ram for Isaac, but didn’t do didly squat for Jeppie’s daughter

    Not sure how this follows, God rescues the daughters of Lot in sodom (Genesis 19, he doesnt rescue the women in Judges 19, does it follow he hates Jews and loves Moabites.

    Jesus appears to the women who visited the tomb at the tomb but doesnt appear at the tomb to the men, ergo does it follow that God hates men?

  • Again Matt has been defeated by simple logic.

    God does accept a human sacrifice. This is indisputable. And to argue the Bible is not full of sexism… let see what jelly wresting Matt manages to pull out this time… should be fun to watch:

  • (also there was only one woman in Judges 19 – not multiple women. You need to study the scriptures)

  • I dont see any response to my argument in those comments, funny that?

  • Any you won’t see responses if you block people who you are incapable of defeating in open honest debate.

  • We do not block people who engage in honest debate. We block trolls.
    You post under multiple false names alluding to the size of your cock. Your posts largely just insult and distort what others say.
    We have operated unmoderated comments for years here on MandM, there are plenty of critical comments within our site given by people who I, at times, disagree with very strongly. Such people have never been blocked or even moderated; that is because they do not conduct themselves in the way you have.
    In the course of MandM we have blocked 3 people who were not spammers. We are incredibly tolerant. One of these Madeleine now has a restraining order against. Another was a high school student who was intent on extending his bullying of our son on our blog. The other is you.
    You are among the extreme.

  • Sure,

    Didn’t Yahweh grant victory to Jephtah over the ammonites after he made a vow that he couldn’t break?

    There’s two interpretations according to biblical commentators regarding this passage:

    1.) Literal burnt sacrifice
    2.) Figurative relinquishment of Jep’s daughter’s virginity

    Is there in the Bible an example of number 2? We know Hannah can dedicate Samuel to the temple as a priest similar precedent can be made for Samson being a nazirite, but I don’t know of any instance where there are perpetual virgins of YHWH occuring anywhere?

    It has to be 1, since there was implied consent by YHWH granting jep, victory over the ammonites. If it isn’t why hasn’t there been a condemnatory statement by a prophet or figure somesort like the time when psychopath Manasseh were throwing babies in the fire by Isaiah? Why the silence on jeppies daughter?

  • Also Dinah’s rape wasn’t done in the perspective of Dinah
    We didn’t hear her side of the story, her pronouncements

    Its only what Simeon and Levi did to the perpetrators. Sure we know biblically the legacy of Simeon and Levi, but wtf happened to Dinah’s legacy?! Why was she being the only daughter of Jacob amidsts 12 brothers were left out of Yahweh’s plans??