Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

TX 31/01/2010

In this second episode, war correspondent Rageh Omaar investigates the farcical irony of Abraham – the earliest recorded man to worship a single god instead of many, and how in so doing he accidentally created three different religions.

You just couldn't make this stuff up…

I had to marvel at how, 4,000 years after the last of the original players had died, this division still lives on, obediently copied down through the generations. Given that we all come into this world without preconceptions, why are we humans so keen to follow someone else's beliefs, instead of developing our own ones?

There are more good – and shocking - soundbites in here than I can quote, but one interviewee whose brother was killed by the other side’s soldiers particularly hits the nail on the head:

"God put me to this life to live. Not to be a victim of somebody, and not to be a killer of somebody."

Hmm, maybe we do start off with some preconceptions...

Despite his deep interest in the subject, Omaar keeps a refreshing detachment from all three perspectives, clearly because he is more interested in the hope of reconciliation.

(closing narration)"From the point where Abraham banished his son Ishmael and favoured Isaac, he set up a deadly rivalry between the two branches of his family which has plagued them down the centuries.

But I don’t lay all the blame on Abraham. I think we must share the blame, particularly in continuing to make some of his worst mistakes, such as the willingness to sacrifice our children.

I think what we have to remember is what God told Abraham in the Bible - that he would be the father of many nations, and if that is to mean anything, it has to mean all nations. And until that notion is fully embraced, then we – the children of Abraham – seem doomed to continue this fatal feud."

Click here for review of programme 1 - Creation.
Click here for review of programme 3 - Moses and the Law.
Click here for review of programme 4 - The Daughters of Eve.
Click here for review of programme 5 - Jesus.
Click here for review of programme 6 - St. Paul.
Click here for review of programme 7 - Revelation - The Last Judgement.

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