Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Sin Delusion – Why do Atheists just not get it?

Why do Atheists just not consider the wretchedness of man due to his sinfulness?
Some helpful comments by Clay Jones who is an assistant professor at Biola University give us a perspective to mull over on this when he talks about evil and suffering.

Richard Dawkins has that famous comments in his ‘The God Delusion’ that shows he hasn’t really understood the Old Testament nor it’s teaching about God at all.
Dawkin’s said on page 31
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser;a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
But let me challenge him to reread it and look at the Grace that God shows towards a sinful and rebellious people. How patient he is in regard to their ongoing sinfulness. Just read the book of Genesis to see this at its clearest.

Often times we hear the objection from unbelievers that a central objection to believing in the Christian God is the Problem of evil’, and it in general doesn’t take a syllogistic form but rather a more down to earth objection as to “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and only later is it raised up a level to “Why is there so much suffering in the World if God is so good?”

In this regard the interview with Clay at Apologetics 315 gives great insight into this whole issue. Clay has written an article which talks openly about the command of the Lord God for Israel to wipe out the Canaanites. He rightly points out that many who object have failed to take into account a number of crucial factors.
Firstly it’s not Divine Genocide but Capital Punishment that is taking place here for the sin of the Canaanites as indicated from Leviticus 18 indicates the utter baseness of the people here. Not only were they committing incest and adultery but in the end they give over their children in sacrifice to Molech.
Furthermore, it is a people problem for God later judges the Israelites with exile in 722 BC for doing the very same things, first warned the tribes of the North by His prophets about committing the very same sins of the Canaanites. So the Assyrians destroyed them in warfare and took off many into exile. Then Judah was warned also and they suffered the same fate of exile in 586 BC under the Babylonians. But let me here encourage you to listen to the interview.

His point is that it’s not genocide, as in destroying just the race of the Canaanites on whim, but killing those who sin in this way which is Capital Punishment.

Secondly, not only is it about Capital Punishment but those that object about Divine Genocide have failed to address the utter sinfulness of what is going on , and indeed they ignore in our own culture what is going on. In this regard what he says has powerful ramifications for Christian apologetics and how to answer objections by unbelievers in regard to the questionable goodness of God. We need to ask them when they object in some regard to God’s goodness and things like Divine genocide and the like whether they regard paedophilia and bestiality as abhorrent and evil?

What is their reply? And on what basis are they able to call these things that men do evil?

We are asking what do they do about the obvious evilness of man himself!

How does their worldview give an account of what is right and wrong, evil or good?

For the Christian he takes into account not merely the fall of man as told in Genesis 3 but also what the Lord God tells us through Paul in Romans 1.
Romans 1 must be taken into consideration here. It’s central to our Christian Worldview. Sure God made mankind good, and yet in Adam they fell and all mankind now are sinners. That doesn’t mean primarily that we regard man’s problem is that he does specific sins which we regard as abhorrent such as lying and cheating and adultery and murder but that he ignores his creator, the Living Sovereign God of Scripture. Man is in rebellion against his Creator and desires to rule his own life. From this suppressing the knowledge of God results a moral and epistemological corruption. There are consequences to his rebellion in the world that God has made and they are a foolish thinking and moral degeneration.

Let me again encourage you to browse over to Apologetics 315 and download the Clay Jones interview. it's well worth the 54 minutes listening to it.

Your brother in Christ,

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