Tyrant or Trinity?

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The late Christopher Hitchens, author of the book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything . . . said in an interview: “I think it would be rather awful if it was true, if there was a permanent, total, round-the-clock divine supervision and invigilation of everything you did. You’d never have a waking or sleeping moment when you weren’t being watched or controlled and supervised by some celestial entity from the moment of your conception to the moment of your death. It would be like living in North Korea.”

Mr. Hitchens presents a good case! However, it is most helpful to note how he describes the deity in whom he does not believe: an all controlling Divine Despot who is keeping tabs on everyone—the Heavenly Policeman.

To be honest, I find myself in hearty agreement with Hitchens on this point because, quite frankly, I don’t believe in that god either. Who would want to be a worshipper of such a god?

Such a deity, in fact, does not exist.

The God revealed in Christ shows Himself to be not a self- centered dictator but an other-centered fountain of goodness. He is not a tyrant, but a Triune community of love.

And that makes all the difference.

J. O. Schulz,
What Jesus Wished People Knew About God

Atheists: No God, just whining

Charlotte Allen 2And then there’s the question of why atheists are so intent on trying to prove that God not only doesn’t exist but is evil to boot. Dawkins, writing in The God Delusion, accuses the deity of being a “petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak” as well as a “misogynistic, homophobic, racist … bully.” If there is no God – and you’d be way beyond stupid to think differently – why does it matter whether he’s good or evil?

The problem with atheists – and what makes them such excruciating snoozes – is that few of them are interested in making serious metaphysical or epistemological arguments against God’s existence, or in taking on the serious arguments that theologians have made attempting to reconcile, say, God’s omniscience with free will or God’s goodness with human suffering. Atheists seem to assume that the whole idea of God is a ridiculous absurdity, the “flying spaghetti monster” of atheists’ typically lame jokes. They think that lobbing a few Gaza-style rockets accusing God of failing to create a world more to their liking (“If there’s a God, why aren’t I rich?” “If there’s a God, why didn’t he give me two heads so I could sleep with one head while I get some work done with the other?”) will suffice to knock down the entire edifice of belief.

What primarily seems to motivate atheists isn’t rationalism but anger – anger that the world isn’t perfect, that someone forced them to go to church as children, that the Bible contains apparent contradictions, that human beings can be hypocrites and commit crimes in the name of faith. The vitriol is extraordinary. Hitchens thinks that “religion spoils everything”. Dawkins contends that raising one’s offspring in one’s religion constitutes child abuse…

What atheists don’t seem to realise is that even for believers, faith is never easy in this world of injustice, pain and delusion. Even for believers, God exists just beyond the scrim of the senses. So, atheists, how about losing the tired sarcasm and boring self-pity and engaging believers seriously?

–Charlotte Allen
Excerpt from article that originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

The clumsiness of atheism

N_D_Wilson_pic copyAtheism is an idea. Most often (thank God), it is an idea lived and told with blunt jumbo-crayon clumsiness. Some child of Christianity or Judaism dons an unbelieving Zorro costume and preens about the living room.

Behold, a dangerous thinker of thinks! A believer in free-from-any-and-all-goodness! Fear my brainy blade!

Put candy in their bucket. Act scared. Don’t tell them that they’re adorable. Atheism is not an idea we want fleshed out.

Atheism incarnate does happen in this reality narrative. But it doesn’t rant about Islam’s treatment of women as did the (often courageous) atheist Christopher Hitchens. It doesn’t thunder words like evil and mean it (as Hitch so often did) when talking about oppressive communist regimes. His costume slipped all the time—and in many of his best moments.

Atheism incarnate is nihilism from follicle to toenail. It is morality merely as evolved herd survival instinct (non-bindng, of course, and as easy for us to outgrow as our feathers were). When Hitchens thundered, he stood in the boots of forefathers who knew that all thunder comes from on high.

― N. D. Wilson,
Death by Living:
Life Is Meant to Be Spent