Has God Indeed Said? Skeptical Theism and Scriptural Hermeneutics

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

September 2021

Publication Title

Journal of Analytic Theology


This paper demonstrates that the skeptical theist’s response to the problem of evil deprives the analytic theologian of theoretical re- sources necessary to avoid accepting as veridical merely apparent di- vine commands that endorse cruelty. In particular, I argue that the same skeptical considerations that lead analytic theologians to endorse skeptical theism also lead to what I call “divine command skepticism”— an inability to make certain kinds of judgements about what a good God would or would not command. The danger of divine command skepti- cism is not that it generates new reasons to think that God has com- manded horrors, but, rather, that it undercuts the defeaters we might otherwise have for thinking that God has commanded those horrors. It does so both by rendering illicit certain theological and hermeneutical methodologies employed within liberatory frameworks (i.e., various kinds of liberation theologies) and by depriving the theologian of some of the more “traditional” mechanisms for resolving such apparent con- flicts.