THE GENESIS OF JUSTICE
Ten Stories of Biblical Injustice That Led to the Ten Commandments and Modern Law
Alan Dershowitz believes in a God who learns something new every day. Dershowitz is the Harvard law professor seen almost nightly on Larry King Live and Rivera Live offering opinions on subjects as widely diverse as the prolife movement (which he has counted among "forces of evil"), the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and Jewish identity. When he tries his hand at theology, the professor poses a significant--and, for postmodernists, an attractive--challenge to orthodox Christianity.The Genesis of Justice offers more than 250 pages of musings and pronouncements on the nature of God's "justice" and humanity's response. Like any good lawyer, Dershowitz begins by defining the rules of engagement.Dershowitz sidesteps the critical question of the Bible's divine inspiration by saying he has "chosen to accept the assumptions of its historic participants about the divine nature of the text." This is a curious semantic shell game in which Dershowitz presumes the Bible to be divinely authored but does not presume its author to be divine. As a result, Dershowitz's book is a house built on sand, as he founders badly in trying to reconcile the Almighty God who appeared to Moses with the flailing, inept cosmic paterfamilias he derives from Genesis.Take for instance his view of the Fall. He charges God with imposing an infantile rule without reason (what Jewish scholars call a chok) in forbidding Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Since they were completely innocent, not knowing the consequences of sin, how could they be held morally culpable for disobedience? It seems to have escaped Dershowitz that God's primary ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more