Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Debunking Christianity: The Omniscience Escape Clause

John Loftus accuses Christians of answering the "Problem of human suffering"  by claiming that God's will is a mystery.

We've heard this escape clause so many times before. "My ways are not your ways," an ancient superstitious canonized Biblical text says of God. "How do we know what an omniscient God might do?" an apologist chimes in. It could be how God purportedly communicated to us in ways that are indistinguishable from anything else we see in the ancient world, or the tragedy of the Haitian earthquake, or a child suffering and soon to die from Leukemia. How can we judge an omniscient God's ways we're asked over and over, with an implied "We can't." The answer is obvious. We must be able to understand enough of God's ways to know that his ways are good and that he knows what he's doing. It's that simple. If God does not act as a loving person would do then all we can reasonably conclude is that God is not acting like a loving person would do. And if God does not respond in discernible loving ways when tragic events take place then it looks entirely as if tragic events happen randomly without his ever-watchful eye.

I have a four issues with Loftus' analysis:

1.  Does this mean that Loftus thinks that the earliest copies of Isaiah does not have text we have in Isaiah 55:8-9?

 8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,"
       declares the LORD.
 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

2.  How does the fact that people are suffering prove that God is not loving?

3.  I agree with Loftus when he wrote:

We must be able to understand enough of God's ways to know that his ways are good and that he knows what he's doing.

How does Loftus know that we can't understand enough of God's ways to know that God is good? Dare, I say that it? Yes, I should. It requires a relationship with God. something an Atheist can't have.


4. How does Loftus know "God does not respond in discernible loving ways when tragic events take place then it looks entirely as if tragic events happen randomly without his ever-watchful eye." Duh! Of course you cannot see God's movement or loving ways if you don't know God. it takes a relationship.

Also the old saying "God works in mysterious ways." is a colloquial one not a Biblical one. We can know God. We can know Him for ourselves.

 13 "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. - 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

"Seeking his face" means getting to know God.

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. - Romans 8:28-29

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Roman 12:1-2

Debunking Christianity: The Omniscience Escape Clause
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