A Response

This is my response to this post.

Wow. A lot here. Way too much for me interact with all of it. I will deal with two aspects however:

  1. God’s glory in creation, and
  2. God’s freedom in creation

God’s Glory in Creation
God—omnipotent, omniscient, perfect in every way—created to display his own glory and worth in creation[period]. This means he gets glory from every aspect of creation, including sin. Jesus was not a divine plan b. He was Plan A, all things were created through him and for him. This is precisely the pinnacle of God’s glory in creation—the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This was the sole purpose of creation, for God to display the riches of his grace in the redemption of his people through Jesus Christ.

I would credit God with demanding glory, or as you put it, being narcissistic. He is the only being worthy of the honor to demand glory. Why? Because he created everything. Does not the potter have right over the lump of clay? Not only that, he’s perfect. I’m not arguing for some conception of a being, the “greatest conceivable being.” I’m saying that the Creator of heaven and earth is absolutely perfect, and has the right to demand total allegiance and worship. Creation is all about God.

Every other reason you proposed as a potential reason for God creating boiled down to man as the chief end of God’s purpose. This is to be denied at every turn. It is patently humanistic in every sense of the word, which really doesn’t surprise me. Our natural inclination is to think that the universe revolves around us—was created for us. We were created for his glory, which brings me to my second point.

God’s Freedom in Creation
His omniscience is complete, but not only does he know everything, he knowingly foreordains everything that comes to pass. I alluded to this above. There is nothing outside of the sovereign reach of God. You see, I wouldn’t ascribe to God the same nonchalance and passivity in his creation that you do. Mainly because he doesn’t.

You look at the various problems plaguing humanity and think the historical incidents of brutality and atrocities committed against one another—The Holocaust. Rwanda. The Japanese Rape of Nanjing. Child abuse. Worldwide starvation and extreme poverty. Medieval witch hunts. Hate crimes. Murder. Torture. Terminal illnesses. Extinction events. Ruthless competition.—somehow diminish God’s moral perfection. I look at them and say that man’s appetite for death is unending, and the effects of sin are atrocious.

At this point you may say “hold on, didn’t you just say that God does all that he pleases? How can man be faulted, for who can resist the will of God?” I agree, there is a tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. I won’t pretend to know how to resolve that tension. Suffice it to say that I will not place myself as judge over the Judge. My point is that God is completely free over his creation. I’m ok with that, his ways truly are higher than ours. This is far from a mental safe zone. In fact, it’s a very large chunk of truth to swallow.

When you suggest what type of world might have been “more moral” for God to create, I simply ask you what makes you think that God is subject to your fallen notion of fairness.

But to help you get a grasp of man’s responsibility I’ll return to your discussion of man’s “free” will. You left out one important aspect of man’s will, namely, that it is not free at all. Our will is enslaved to sin. We gave our allegiance to the enemy, and when we did we sold ourselves into slavery.

Therefore, everything we get that isn’t death is a grace, totally undeserved. We have no right to demand anything from God, especially a suffering-free life. All we deserve is suffering, for we are traitors, guilty of treason. We are utterly dependent upon God to rescue us from our rebellious will. Otherwise, we have no hope, for we will rebel against our Creator until we return to dust.

Conclusion
I suppose though, that I’ve written all of this for nothing anyway, because I haven’t given you proof of this God. Well to that I say that I’m sorry, I have no proof. I can’t stand with William Lane Craig and give you a “more probable god.” For me, the very fact that we are having this conversation is proof that there is a Designer. Contrary to your belief, I would say that the burden of proof is upon your shoulders. You should have to tell me why you know anything, if knowledge was not given to you.

No amount of evidence I would give to you would ever be enough to overcome the burden of proof you suppose. I would always lack sufficient evidence. You have the created order in front of you, yet you have the audacity to claim that there is no good evidence that God exists. I’m sorry, but like I said before, I will not place myself in the position to judge God, I don’t have that right. There is no neutral ground between us, for God created all of it.

I Hate Open Letters So…


Let’s Call This An Open Invitation

To what, you might ask. Discussion. Not debate. Dialogue. Open, honest discourse. As a Christian, I hear the christian opinion everyday. I read it in blog posts. I hear it in Youtube videos. Naturally, I gravitate to it. In the course of things, I come across other points of view as well, but one thing that I don’t get too much of is communication with everyday, regular, nonbelievers as to why the believe (or don’t believe) the way they do.

I have some very dear friends, and family, whose views are totally opposite of mine. You are my target audience. Or should I say the intended recipients of my invitation. I want to talk to you. I want to know what makes you tick. I am not looking for a debate per se, although debate may occur as a natural consequence. I just want friendly discussion about our differing views of religion, philosophy of life, etc. I am not looking to pick a fight.

Our proposed conversation could take place in a variety of forms, I’ll let you decide. Some options would be:

  • blog posts
  • Facebook notes
  • private email
  • talking on the phone
  • I would say that we could go 15th, 16th century style and take turns publishing books to state our viewpoint, but for the sake of time (and the fact that I’m not smart enough to do that), we’ll use one of the above methods, or another reasonable method of your choice.
  • I’d prefer to stick to a written format, but if talking we must do, then talk we shall.

    I promise not to try and convert you (unless you ask me to 😉 ). I deeply respect each of you that I have in mind, and would not undermine the intelligence I know you all possess. I’m just curious about your position is all. I am firmly established in what I believe, so you would have a hard time converting me as well :).

    In particular, I’m looking for the following positions to discuss: atheists, anti-theists, secular humanists, agnostics, or new agers/ middle eastern philosophy. I know that the members of these groups are usually pretty intelligent, willing to reason. Come, let us reason together.

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    Right now I’m not really focusing on other religions like mormonism or witnesses, although I’d probably be willing to talk, shoot me a line if you feel compelled.

    If any of these are you, and you’re willing to open up about it, and follow things out to logical conclusions, then I ask you to contact me. Feel free to comment below, or contact me privately via jcrappel at gmail dot com. Thanks for reading, and I’m looking forward to talking to you.