Another interpretation of these events has been proposed, which would make them illustrations of the principle indicated in (e) above: E.G. Robinson, Christian Theology, 45 ? ?It was not the imprecations of the Psalm that were inspired of God, but his purposes and ideas of which these were by the times the necessary vehicle; just as the adultery of David was not by divine command, though through it the purpose of God as to Christ?s descent was accomplished.? John Watson (Ian Maclaren), Cure of Souls, 143 ? ?When the massacre of the Canaanites and certain proceedings of David are flung in the face of Christians, it is no longer necessary to fall back on evasions or special pleading. It can now be frankly admitted that, from our standpoint in this year of grace, such deeds were atrocious, and that they never could have been according to the mind of God, but that they must be judged by their date, and considered the defects of elementary moral processes. The Bible is vindicated, because it is, on the whole, a steady ascent, and because it culminates in Christ.?
Lyman Abbott, theology of an Evolutionist, 56 ? ?Abraham mistook the voice of conscience, calling on him to consecrate his only son to God, an interpreted it as a command to slay his son as a burnt offering. Israel misinterpreted his righteous indignation at the cruel and lustful rites of the Canaanitish religion as a divine summons to destroy the worship by putting the worshipers to death; a people undeveloped in moral judgment could not distinguish between formal regulations respecting camp life and eternal principles of righteousness, such as, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, but embodied them in the same code, and seemed to regard them as of equal authority.? Wilkinson, Epic of Paul, 281 ? ?If so be such man, so placed? did in some part that utterance make his own, profaning it, To be his vehicle for sense not meant By the august supreme inspiring Will ? ? i.e., putting some of his own sinful anger into God?s calm predictions ofjudgment. Compare the stern last words of ?Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, the priest? when stoned to death in the temple court: ?Jehovah look upon it and require it? ( <142420>2 Chronicles 24:20-22), with the last words of Jesus: ?Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do? <422334>Luke 23:34) and of Stephen: ?Lord, lay not this sin to their charge? ( <440760>Acts 7:60).
(e) Other apparent immoralities are due to unwarranted interpretations. Symbol is sometimes taken for literal fact; the language of irony is understood as sober affirmation; the glow and freedom of Oriental description are judged by the unimpassioned style of Western literature;
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