But I am not Abraham

For some time now I have been both attracted to and troubled by the story of Abraham’s journey to present his son Isaac as a burnt offering in the land of Moriah. I was moved by Abraham’s extraordinary devotion to God but repelled by the thought that it made him willing to sacrifice his only child. So I turned with considerable interest to an article in a recent issue of the International Journal of Systematic Theology. In discussing Kierkegaard’s reading of the story, Murray Rea argues there that “while no justification of Abraham’s action . . . may be offered, he is nevertheless to be admired for trusting in God beyond the limits of his understanding.” Such trust is admirable, however, Rea went on to say, “only in the context of a long life of obedience and love.”

 

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