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Answering Michael Martin's
"Atheism, Christian Theism, and Rape"

by Rev. Ralph Allan Smith


Michael Martin claims that Euthyphro《 Dilemma cannot be answered by Christians. I have tried to show that

1) on Martin《 view of ethics, Martin himself faces Euthyphro《 Dilemma;
2) Euthyphro《 Dilemma is probably not what it seems on the surface to be; and
3) Christians do have an answer to Euthyphro.

The Triune God is necessarily a God of love. Therefore, the ethic of love was central to His revelation to ancient Israel. When Jesus answered the lawyer《 question about the greatest commandment, His answer came from Moses law and included these definitive words, 徹n these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. According to Jesus, everything in the law of Moses is expounding the way of love. The Mosaic laws about rape must be interpreted as laws that expound the meaning of love in a world of sinners.

Martin《 comments on the laws of Moses entirely neglect this dimension. He is also guilty of neglecting the immediate context of the laws, distorting the plain meaning of the words, and grossly misreading the purpose of these laws. What he has offered is an example of a man with a deep bias against the teaching of the Scriptures reading ridiculous meanings into the text which he then ridicules as ethically inferior.

But he has also challenged modern Christians to consider the laws of Moses and understand them clearly. The laws of Moses belong to the Christian Bible. They must not be neglected or forgotten. Christians need to consider each of these laws in its original context and in the light of Jesus teaching, for the law is the way of love. Though we are not under the Mosaic covenant, the revelation that God gave to ancient Israel is still God《 word and therefore 菟rofitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

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