Wednesday, 22 July 2015
Canon & Community: A Guide to Canonical Criticism,
James A. Sanders, Wipf and Stock, 2000, page 54
Sanders next point is his assertion that G-d betrays a divine bias for the weak and dispossessed. He illustrates his suggestion by Luke 15:1, "This man receives sinners and eats with them", adding that this not a peculiar trait of the New Testament. He feels it is just anothe example of G-d's tendency to identify throughout the Bible with the poor and powerless.
Given that the Torah specifically instructs the Israelites not to favour the poor, to give everyone equal justice and not to be swayed by the condition of men - either way - I find myself wondering whether Sanders hasn;t overstepped the mark here. He says:
The fact that the G-d of the Bible exhibits such a bias is easily understood - historically, politically and sociologically.
He doesn't mention 'theologically' and this is where his argument comes undone. It would be inconsistent for G-d to have or show bias. His apparent favour for the poor - which, in that respect, Sanders correctly reports - is not a bias for them, but a necessary and appropriate redress needed to re-balance the scale in the face of human sinfulness and greed exploiting those people, creating their poverty and powerlessness.