I have agreed to engage John Loftus on this issue. I am not sure it will be a continuing series or not, but we will see. My goal is not to convert John or other atheists, but to address their viewpoints in order to help others who are struggling with their Faith.
You can find John’s Argument here. To summarize it, it is the classic Atheist argument of
“If there was a God, then He would have….”
In this case, it is told us what would kill us or not.
I must say, that this is the least convincing argument for the existence of God. What atheists seem to envision is a god who dictates every detail and action of the lives of the human populace. They demand a god who is so involved in every action of a person that the person has no responsibility for him or herself. This actually seems to be a running theme among Christians as well. In Psalm 37, the author deals with the same theme – people who believe that their god must be a god who never allows bad things to happen.
We can turn to the bible, although I doubt that atheists put any stock into it, to find that God did tell us the human race what would kill it, and we didn’t listen. Or, we can turn to our children, to our society, to others and watch as they are told what not to do, but do it anyway. When we do this, we find reasonable proof that regardless if God told us to do something, a majority of people would not. We are told to take care of the poor and visit the sick – but do we do it? We are told to turn the other cheek, but do we do it?
I have to wonder, if people serve and love God because the one they serve is ideal for them, but what happens when their picture is punctured? Because their view is faulty from the start, they loose all faith. It would be like a faith healer – and honest and sincere faith healer – coming to realize that nothing is happening. Instead of questioning himself, he finds that he has lost faith in God and comes to realize that there is no God.
Why is it that the only way a God can be good is if he constantly treats humanity like babies? God created us, and we rebelled. Sin corrupts and we have a separation between us and God. Yet, God is good and because he is God, He has created a way for us to walk again with Him. God does not have to do things to be Good, or is judge by us. Yes, the world has seen and will see many more things which kill and destroy, but that is our nature. God’s nature is one which resurrects and builds.
God is not measured by the fact that humanity is corruption, but that humanity can better itself in many, many ways, namely, and most importantly, removing of sin.Yes, we still live an ugly world, but how much of that world is by our own choosing?
So, my final answer is this, John:
Our Scripture teaches us that we were once told what would happen if we rebelled against God. We didn’t listen. Because of this, all of creation is in constant rebellion against God and is an obstacle we face. Further, the image of God as a dictator, in which we are controlled in every way by God, is an idol which far too often we make for ourselves. Once it crashes, it is replaced by the god of the self. Things happen in life, and have always happened, and will continue to happen. People of faith know this, but surviving this reality means having some real clue as to the nature of God.
Now, if you click the link above, you will find many more answer, better, than mine.