Pointers for Defending the Faith, Part 3
Here’s our third point:
3) Unbelievers tend to develop arguments against Christianity based on what seems (to them) to be fitting for God, not on what Scripture actually says. I’ve done a pretty decent amount of reading stuff that’s written by non-Christians, both scholarly and at the popular level. A common problem I’ve noticed is that many of these arguments fail to take into account the actual accounts of God’s nature and attributes in the Bible (see point 1), i.e. they argue against a no-frills type of God. Examples like this abound, “Can God created a rock so large he cannot lift it?” From a Biblical perspective, that’s a nonsense question that shouldn’t be tolerated as a serious problem for the Christian doctrine of God. It’s like asking if God can make a squared circle. God doesn’t “do” logical absurdities (or windows!).
Here’s another example that ties together points 1 and 2: In most versions of the supposed problem of evil, unbelievers tend to
1) ignore -or are ignorant of- the biblical narrative and God’s purposes in using evil for His glory and our good, and
2) base their arguments on various assumptions on what a good God would never allow (babies to go hungry, etc.)
The point here? We need to fight the temptation to defend a conception of God not taught in scripture. In my earlier series titled Prologue to Apologetics, I made the point that we defend no other God than the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, we should join hands to topple rival conceptions of God. So, if the “god” that our unbelieving friend is arguing against isn’t what we recognize as the Biblical God (and don’t let their usage of the word “God” fool you), kindly respond that you’re not commending “that” god to them, and get back on track. Of course, this may make things harder to speak about (after all, Yahweh has allowed children to suffer, etc.), but our goal should be to winsomely recommend the truth, not merely what the non-Christian will accept.
Three down, two to go…