Thursday, June 29, 2006

Review of Carr-Cole debate

Bahnsen Burner has an interesting review of my debate at Review

Monday, June 19, 2006

God and Evil

On Saturday, 17th June 2006, there was a debate about the Problem of Evil on Premier Christian Radio between Dan Barker and Gary Clark.

Dan Barker pointed out that many children die in hospitals, despite their parents prayers to God for help. He contrasted what the parents of the children tried to do for their children, with what God did for these children, which was to let them die.

Gary Clark countered that Dan Barker could not know that God's purposes were not served by these children in hospital dying. Maybe they died for a greater good?

A Christian caller to the programme, Tony, claimed that children in hospital die because they were being punished by God for the sins of their fathers. He said that the prayers of the parents were not answered because the parents did not have enough faith.

Gary Clark then claimed that evils were justified if they led people to God. He recounted the tale of his friend, who broke his neck at the age of 18. He is now in a wheelchair, but is glad that his neck broke, as he found Jesus.

I wrote to Premier Christian Radio as follows :-

On Unbelieveable, Paul Clark gave the story of somebody he knew who broke his neck when 18 and felt that this was justified because it led him to God.

There is Biblical support for the idea that evil is justified if it leads people to God.

Ezekiel 20:25-26
25 I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by; 26 I let them become defiled through their gifts—the sacrifice of every firstborn —that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the LORD.'

Apparently, child sacrifice is justified if it leads someone to the Lord. That is what the Bible says, and what Paul Clark's logic leads to.

Is he prepared to state that he believes the Bible?

They responded as follows. Their response is in bold. My comments follow their response.

Thank you for your email. Paul Clark did not mean that child sacrifice is ustified, as it never leads someone to the Lord.

See Ezekiel 20:25-26 where God said he allowed child sacrifice so that people would know who was the Lord.

And Paul Clark claimed that evil was justified if it lead somebody to the Lord , which Ezekiel 20:26 backs him up on.

In fact, in 2 Chronicles, Manasseh sacrificed his children and God was provoked to anger by this and all his other vile sins (see 2 Chronicles 33 verses 1-9). The Lord sent judgement against Manaseeh and his people and when Manasseh was so humbled he turned to God in his humiliation and left his sins behind, including child sacrifice.

This by no means justifies child sacrifice, as it is evident that God hates such things.

Does God hate people dying in their millions from malaria?

Child sacrifice is not to be compared or confused with a broken neck! Having a broken neck is not a sin, sacrificing to children is definitely what God calls
sin of the vilest sort. He hates it.

Isn't evil (like a broken neck) not supposed to be the result of sin acting in the world? Doesn't God hate all sin, not just child sacrifice?

Doesn't God hate people being confined to wheelchairs after having a broken neck?

Sorry, but Paul Clark was adamant on the show that we can never know whether or not an evil leads to a greater good, and castigated Dan Barker for having the audacity to claim that he knows whether or not God should stop particular evils.

So Paul cannot now claim to know that there is no higher good served by child sacrifice, when he lambasted Dan for claiming to know that there was no higher good served by God allowing children to die in hospitals.

In the verses preceding verse 25 which you quote, God is saying that His children (Israel) had rebelled against Him. He finally allowed them to do exactly what they wanted as they would not turn back to Him despite His patience and mercy upon them. He gives us free will and if we will not listen to Him or follow Him, well - you can see where that leads. Sometimes the judgement of God is to allow us to experience the consequences of our rebellion against Him.

Hence, in our society today, helpless foetuses are sacrificed on the altar of convenience and a woman's "right to choose", and we are horrified when we learn what that means.

It was only when Israel realised the full horror of where a life without God leads that they understood the consequences of their stubborn rebellion and where it ultimately leads. They probably thought they had a right to do what they wanted up until then - and in the end there was noone to blame but themselves. It was then that they saw the difference between belief in the Living God and following idolatrous practices.

So that is why God allows abortion! God has a very good moral reason to allow abortion.

I knew there was a very good moral reason to allow abortion, and now I know what it is.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

DId Jesus preach a resurrection?

John's Gospel has lots of stories of Jesus preaching a resurrection.

So does Matthew's Gospel.

And if you read the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke, you can also find in them passages where Jesus teaches about the general resurrection.

So why did people who converted to Jesus-worship in Thessalonican and Corinth deny the general resurrection and believe that the dead were lost?

Surely the would have worked on the principle 'Jesus said it. I believe it. That settles it.'

And why would Paul not rub their noses in their lack of faith in the words of their Lord and Saviour?

I would have. I'm more than happy to quote the Gospels whenever it suits me.

It is pretty obvious that there were no stories circulating of Jesus preaching abouit a general resurrection, or it would never have been a controversial issue.

And that pretty much wraps up the idea of the Gospels being reliable. If they are wrong about that....