Kudos to skeptic Harry McCall for his “Yahweh in a box” title. Actually that’s not the whole title of his article, but as a fellow-blogger I admire phrasing like this. It was funny enough to send me to the article itself, and that’s what blog titles are supposed to do. By comparison, most of my titles are fairly bland.
It’s a curious article, though—and tendentious to boot. McCall keeps talking about the “God of modern Christian theology,” which suggests that a dramatic change in the Church’s understanding of divinity has occurred in the modern period (the last couple hundred of years or so?); but what in fact he is in fact talking about is the development within the Church of what is often called “classical theism,” a development that occurs in the second and third centuries. In fact, the movement away from a limited tribal God to the Creator of heaven and earth had already taken place within Israel/Judaism hundreds of years earlier. Everyone knows this, so what’s the polemical point? Are Christians supposed to find this intellectually embarrassing? Really? This is the kind of rhetoric one might expect from H. L. Mencken when he was writing on the Scopes monkey trial. But as much as one might enjoy Mencken’s rhetorical skills, let’s not pretend that he presents an intellectually superior position.
If I were a skeptic, I would never advance this kind of argument. Skepticism’s position is always weakened when it resorts to straw-man arguments and shoddy representation of its Christian and Jewish opponents.