Monday, January 23, 2012

Notes on "Contending for the Truth" (Pt. 12)

[Series explanation and index here.]

The Holy Spirit and Apologetics
a talk by Albert Mohler

"Why are there some who believe and others who do not?"

Because Calvinism...again. Let's just move on.

Questions and Answers #2

One of the answers to a question about God willing evil to exist was:
"The entire problem of theodicy arises from a wrong question or wrong presumption. In other words, rather than seeing God as essentially good, and deriving whatever good is from observing the one true and living God, we abstract an idea of good and then try to measure God against that human abstraction. That is always a losing proposition because we don't know what good is.

That's the problem when persons come up to us and say, 'If God does this, he can't be good.' They don't realize that's an internal contradiction. The only God that exists is the God who is good. He defines what is good by consistency with his own character, not by the fact that he corresponds to some arbitrary understanding of good."
Except that people typically have some meaning in mind when they say 'good' which is not precisely the same as "whatever God is like." Now, it could turn out that goodness and (part of) God's nature are the same. To use the philosophers' favorite analogy, it would be like discovering that the morning star is the evening star. Such a discovery is informative; to say "Goodness is (part of) God's nature" would really be saying something beyond "God is like himself."

Unfortunately, the God described during these talks is an especially awkward match-up with common uses of 'good.' Hence the retreat to God being good by definition, no matter what he's like.


Ravi Zacharias implies the Dec 26, 2004 Indonesian tsunami was God's response to the ACLU forcing God out of the government in the USA.

He gets huge applause.


Someone asks whether evolution if compatible with the Bible. Sproul Sr. affirms 'micro-evolution' then calls 'macro-evolution' the philosophical belief that everything came from a single cell or the big bang. "No, that's not compatible with the Bible. Second of all, it's not compatible with science."

He gets huge applause.


Remember, this lecture series was a Christmas gift intended to help bring me back into the fold. Guess I didn't mention that it was reading the Bible and apologetics — not skeptical literature — that destroyed my belief in the first place. These lectures have only served as a reminder that I know too much to be a fundamentalist Christian, and am too much like a fundamentalist Christian to be a liberal Christian.

But why stop now? Just one talk to go.

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