Sunday, December 16, 2012

What Goes Wrong In the Unbeliever's Mind

We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater, because it is the testimony he has given about his son. (I John 5:9).

God is love (I John 4:16), and I make no apology for upholding it even in the face of apparent contradiction.

Mankind is locked.  He is locked from without and within.  Even if he were to arise and try the lock, it would, not work, because man is locked from the outside too. 

This is what accounts for the atheist's scoffing, and his and her primarily emotional objection to the Bible. 

God, in a very narrow sense, is whatever you want him to be.  Now I realize that this may sound like Freud's man-made God, but it is not. 

Human beings were made to reflect the glory and character of God, and when we do not, we create our own invalid reality, and God obliges by blinding us to the real truth.  In this narrow sense, God becomes what our desires postulate him to be.

So therefore, when an unbeliever reads the Bible, and wretches at the behavior of people God commends as his own, (i.e., polygamy, concubinage, wars, male domination, the "the concoctions of illiterate Bronze Age bloodthirsty tribalists,") etc. they fail to realize that God's heart of hearts does not celebrate these things.  The first plan of God was good, because he made the creation good (Genesis 1-2).  Man's sin vitiated his view of God, so man is condemned to a corruption of reality.  Literally, blinded, so that we believe God is responsible for evil, because we are responsible for evil, which is only adding to evil.   (You can see this in the Genesis 3 account of the questioning of Adam and Eve following their sin).

This corruption is only temporary.  In eternity future, for those who desire it, they will be liberated from the ugliness of sin and the corruption of this world--forever, never to be corrupted again.

But what will provide the impetus to repent and hate the evil and the fallenness of this world?  The first cause of this may be the apparent contradiction of life, and at it's heart is theodicy.  IS GOD GOOD?  Is the most important question we will ever answer with our words and our lives.

Life is supposed to be futile, in many ways.  Not because futility is good, but the creation is under the curse, which temporary for some of us.  Others, having taken the off-ramp on God's highway, will never re-enter the road, because they think the "rest area" will never close.  By "making the creation subject to frustration." (Romans 8:20), God is providing the very frustration that should lead us to consider that our detour into knowing good and evil was a bad idea.

So why are there apparent contradictions in the Bible?  God is showing us that the secret things belong to him, and that we'd better not dethrone him to justify ourselves.  (Job 40:8).

But all of this leaves us high and dry unless we take the ultimate excursion into the crossroads of theodicy--the life of Christ, and the Cross.  God did not spare his own son from the horrors of sin.  Not that he himself sinned, but that we did, and the ultimate expression of that evil led to the greatest act of love in the history of the universe--the Cross, on behalf of sinners.  Back for a moment to the universe.  If matter and energy, and space-time are just spinoffs of the Big Bang, which is the quantum conclusion of a contraction to the singularity of a previous universe, WHAT IS THE POINT!!

You could say the universe does not owe us a point, but wouldn't you be making a point in doing so?

The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, therefore, is the great hinge upon the wheel of eternity spins.  There is no escaping the cross. "And even they who pierced him...shall mourn because of him (from Revelation 1:7)."  And there is no fear of death for those who have already faced its horrors and have been raised to newness of life. 

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