OpenTheo

Q&A#79 Was Cain Really Supposed to be his Brother's Keeper?

Alastair Roberts

Q&A#79 Was Cain Really Supposed to be his Brother's Keeper?

October 24, 2018
Alastair Roberts
Alastair Roberts

Today's question:

"You referred in a recent lectionary talk with Peter Leithart to "being our brother's keeper." What is your understanding of the ethical meaning of a "keeper" biblically speaking?

It is sometimes a point of controversy in liberal/conservative Christian political arguments as to the relevance of Cain's refusal of the role of "keeper" (when in fact, Cain has not just failed to aid Abel but murdered him actively) to our understanding of our call to love and serve our neighbor, using the phrase as an expansive claim that justifies almost any kind of political action desired, casting the one who is skeptical of the action as a cain-like person who dismisses a call to be his brother's keeper.

To me "keeper" has connotations of a guardian with charge of a dependent inferior or one who is weak. Like 'zookeeper' or a tale of a overprotective father who "keeps" his daughter safe locked in a tower. Do we find being a "keeper" of another as a model of Christian regard elsewhere in scripture, and if not, should we found an ethic by simply negating the dismissive words of a murderer?"

If you have any questions, you can leave them on my Curious Cat account: https://curiouscat.me/zugzwanged.

If you have enjoyed these talks, please tell your friends and consider supporting me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/zugzwanged.

The audio of all of my videos is available on my Soundcloud account: https://soundcloud.com/alastairadversaria. You can also listen to the audio of these episodes on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/alastairs-adversaria/id1416351035?mt=2.

Share

FacebookTwitterRedditCopy Link

Transcript

More on OpenTheo

What Apologetics Strategies Can We Use with Agnostics?
What Apologetics Strategies Can We Use with Agnostics?
#STRask
May 30, 2024
Questions about apologetics strategies to use with an agnostic who says it’s pointless to worry about whether there is a God because we can’t know if
#221 Big Questions for Tom from Children: why did God make mosquitos? why does this world suffer?! did God create hell? (replay)
#221 Big Questions for Tom from Children: why did God make mosquitos? why does this world suffer?! did God create hell? (replay)
Ask NT Wright Anything
June 13, 2024
Tom answers children's questions on today's show and tackles some of the ways we talk to children about tricky things like suffering and hell (and mos
Lydia McGrew Answered! Black & White Thinking
Lydia McGrew Answered! Black & White Thinking
Risen Jesus
June 17, 2024
In this episode, part 4 in an 8 part series, Dr. Licona demonstrates Lydia McGrew’s rigid approach that’s founded upon her presumptions pertaining to
Was Jesus’ Death Really a Sacrifice if He Knew He Would Rise Again?
Was Jesus’ Death Really a Sacrifice if He Knew He Would Rise Again?
#STRask
June 24, 2024
Questions about why God the Father required a sacrifice (and whether Jesus’ short-term death was really a sacrifice), whether Jesus’ disciples ever of
Pentecost and the Gift of the Spirit (with Rev Benjamin Miller)
Pentecost and the Gift of the Spirit (with Rev Benjamin Miller)
Alastair Roberts
May 17, 2024
My friend Benjamin Miller joins me for a seasonal discussion of Pentecost and the gift of the Spirit. Follow my Substack, the Anchored Argosy, at htt
Frank Turek: Same-Sex Marriage and Transgenderism
Frank Turek: Same-Sex Marriage and Transgenderism
Knight & Rose Show
May 4, 2024
Wintery Knight and Desert Rose interview Christian apologist Frank Turek about the updated and expanded edition of his book "Correct, Not Politically
Doesn’t Acts Argue That Not All Believers Receive the Holy Spirit?
Doesn’t Acts Argue That Not All Believers Receive the Holy Spirit?
#STRask
July 8, 2024
Questions about why we should think the new believers in Acts 5:14 received the Holy Spirit when Acts seems to argue that not all believers necessaril
Lydia McGrew Answered! Conclusion
Lydia McGrew Answered! Conclusion
Risen Jesus
July 5, 2024
In this episode, the final part in an 8 part series, Dr. Licona reviews and summarizes the problems with Lydia McGrew’s methodological interpretation
Casey Luskin: Debunking the Myth of Junk DNA
Casey Luskin: Debunking the Myth of Junk DNA
Knight & Rose Show
June 22, 2024
Wintery Knight and Desert Rose interview Dr. Casey Luskin about junk DNA. Is your DNA assembled by undirected forces, or is it intelligently designed?
Lydia McGrew Answered! On Gospel Differences
Lydia McGrew Answered! On Gospel Differences
Risen Jesus
June 26, 2024
In this episode, part 7 in an 8 part series, Dr. Licona reviews several events in the Gospels to demonstrate how compositional devices are more plausi
#225 Will animals go to heaven? Are NDEs real? Is there 'free will' in heaven?  (replay)
#225 Will animals go to heaven? Are NDEs real? Is there 'free will' in heaven?  (replay)
Ask NT Wright Anything
July 11, 2024
In this episode, Tom dives into listener questions about heaven and the new creation. Discover whether free will still exists in heaven, what near-dea
#223 Pastoral questions on porn, personal tragedy and coming back to faith (replay)
#223 Pastoral questions on porn, personal tragedy and coming back to faith (replay)
Ask NT Wright Anything
June 27, 2024
Tom answers listener’s pastoral questions including a person racked by guilt over whether his wife’s miscarriages were a judgment on his porn addictio
Do You Believe in the Clarity of Scripture?
Do You Believe in the Clarity of Scripture?
#STRask
May 6, 2024
Question about whether Stand to Reason accepts the doctrine of biblical perspicuity (the idea that the Bible is clear in what it teaches about essenti
Anticipations of Pentecost (with Rev Benjamin Miller)
Anticipations of Pentecost (with Rev Benjamin Miller)
Alastair Roberts
May 20, 2024
This is the second video in our treatment of Pentecost. The first can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esXSNcRbMak&ab_channel=AlastairRob
Should I Stick with My Decision if I Prayed About It Beforehand?
Should I Stick with My Decision if I Prayed About It Beforehand?
#STRask
July 1, 2024
Questions about whether you should stick with a decision you made that didn’t work out as you hoped if you prayed about it beforehand and how you can