I have not yet had the opportunity to read fellow biblioblogger John Anderson’s new book (for which I offer him congratulations on its publication!), Jacob and the Divine Trickster: A Theology of Deception and Yhwh’s Fidelity to the Ancestral Promise in the Jacob Cycle, published by Eisenbrauns. But I thought I should mention it anyway, for several reasons. First, he asked me to. But second, this being a book published by a biblioblogger this month, and this being the site for this month’s Biblical studies carnival (of which the first installment has been posted here, in case you missed it), it seems appropriate to mention it and to say that anyone else who has published something this month is welcome to blog about it and get it included in the Biblical studies carnival.
But third, the topic of the book connects fairly directly with a major topic about which I blog regularly, namely creationism. Young-earth creationism is forced to maintain that God created an earth with the appearance of age and a cosmos with light already en route from stars a vast distance away. It makes God guilty of deception. And the truth of the matter is that God as depicted in the Bible is not above deception, as becomes clear not only in the Jacob story but even more so in 1 Kings 22. And so thinking about John’s book, I am struck that, if we object to the theology of young earth creationism, the objection probably cannot be on Biblical grounds. Indeed, do you think we need to go further, and say that if we find the idea of a God who is willing to deceive human beings unacceptable, this constitutes a rejection of the Biblical portrait of God?
Perhaps John himself will chime in – if only to clarify that any views expressed by me on this blog, even in a post highlighting his book, are in no way endorsed by him!