Dami0n, the Agnostichicagokie, has directed me to a blog that has some promise to it, called Project: The King and I, in which a skeptic reviews the KJV Bible a chunk per day with the goal of finishing it in a year.
They'll have my respect if they make it thru Leviticus and thru the genealogies of 1 Chronicles, to be honest. OTOH, from what I've seen so far, that they treat the Bible fairly, without appealing via external critique to their own arbitrary and self-centered morality and morés, is too much to ask. Shouldn't surprise me, given that they link to the Skeptics' Annotated Bible in their sidebar.
Anyway, today they are dealing with Abraham and Isaac, with which I've dealt at length in the past. I popped over and summarised that post in the combox. A commenter responded, and my reply follows:
I'll respond to you in the numbered order.
1) By OFFERING him. Doesn't mean you finish the job.
Let me break in here and say that my confidence in this point is lower than in my other points, so... :-D
2) How long was he supposed to wait? He was commanded to do sthg, so he did it. It's not as if time makes a diff to God. And yes, he and Isaac were already circumcised.
3) B/c he had faith, as Hebrews says.
4) Yes ram in place of lamb is interesting. But I did explain it. :-)
5) What precisely is absurd about the answer why? I'd appreciate a logical stepwise process to get to that conclusion; "absurd" is a serious charge.
Who said God was doing this testing to puff up His ego? Please either cite Scripture and/or give your argument.
Yes, He does know us from before we were formed in the womb. What connection does that have?
6) I worship such a God b/c He is worthy of worship, b/c He created us. I don't get to judge Him. Nobody has any moral basis on which to judge Him.
(You walked right into my trap, haha.)
I don't claim God is "omnibenevolent", FYI.
I'd be interested in knowing how you know that "being mean" is morally objectionable. Just b/c you think so? Who are you?
And "thou shalt not kill":
--It's "murder", not "kill".
--I already explained this - go back and read my comment again, please.
--The problems with DCT are perceived, not real. I encourage you to read what I mean by that.
Another commenter said:
I can't jump through the moral hoops and origami-like twists of logic to arrive at the conclusion that this story represents anything other than an insecure god worried about obedience above all else.
Let me ask you to run a mental exercise, then.
First, ad arguendo decide you're going to accept the Christian presuppositions and framework of understanding, and apply it to this passage. God is not insecure; He is testing Abraham and wants to make him holy and increase his faith in God. He is foreshadowing the substitutionary atonement of the coming Messiah. He is demonstrating His ownership and sovereignty over all things, including human lives (let alone the lives of SINFUL humans, who are rebels against His rule and law).
Second, you can safely remove your Christian spectacles now. :-) Now ask yourself on what basis you, given your own worldview, know that:
a) logic exists and is a good way to discover truth
b) it is objectively morally objectionable to do anything.
Note that "I think it's morally objectionable b/c it is displeasing to me" does not fulfill the requirements - that's not objective. Human empathy doesn't either. Societal preference/agreement doesn't either.
Maybe that will help you get it.