Over at the We CAN and we WILL Find 1,000,000 Creationists by June 2011 group on Facebook, someone left the following comment:
“Who is the Creator?
Why Jesus/God? why not the Roman Pantheon? why not Buddha? Why not one of the Indian gods? Why not the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
Can you provide unique proof that it is the Abrahamic god?”
I get these questions from time to time, so I thought I’d post my response to him here as I did there:
First, I pointed out that he was attempting to claim we ought to be rational about this [and we ought to]. By making such an is/ought claim, he was invoking morality. Unfortunately, the evo has no consistent, nonarbitary reason for why we ought to do anything. If we’re just rearranged pond scum in a deterministic universe, choice is an illusion [and thus morality] and morality is subjective. Christianity on the other hand states that the universe conforms to orderly laws and that our conscience is a reflection of our Creator’s will and attributes. We ought to have a rational worldview because God is a rational being.
If the Bible’s claims are true, we have a rational basis for the credibility of its further claim that Christ is the Creator. The Bible has been vindicated through historical and geographical confirmation, through supernaturally fulfilled prophecy, and by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. [see https://siriusknotts.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/resurrection.pdf
for Resurrection apologetics showing why Jesus’ historical existence, actual physical death and bodily resurrection from the dead are reasonable given the evidence.]
why not the Roman Pantheon?
I was impressed that he didn’t ask me “Why not Zeus?” as so many uninformed evos often do. If we recall our mythology, Zeus was a bit of a Johnny-come -lately, sired along with the other gods by a pair of Titans. According to mythology, the world was created by some unnamed God well before gods and Titans ever existed.
That aside, we observe a uniformity of natural law. This is consistent with Christian belief that God created the universe supernaturally in 6 days but then ceased from creation and that He upholds the universe now. All polytheistic religions have a menagerie of deities and entities who’s bad mood or bickering lead to dramatic upheavel of the uniformity of nature, which is not observable. So rationally, polytheistic religions [ ANY polytheistic religions] are inconsistent with observable reality and are disqualified from consideration.
why not Buddha?
This question evidences an ignorance of comparative religions comparable to the “Why not Zeus?” question. Buddhism makes no such claim for Buddha. Furthermore, Buddhism is agnostic about God at best [and fully atheistic at worst].
Why not one of the Indian gods?
The commenter wasn’t very specific as to whether he meant American Indians or something from the Indian continent [another polytheistic blend]; however, I do like to point out something about some commonalities within comparative religions that point to the Christian worldview . If the Bible is true and all men are one blood having been scattered into differing people groups according to language at Babel. They would retain a memory of the events in Genesis 1-11 to some degree. Some of it might have become corrupted over time, but by and large we should see accounts of a Creator, Flood legends and stories of a time when we all shared one tongue. This is exactly what we see when we examine Native American myths and others. As we point out, even Roman mythology attributes the creation of the universe to some unnamed God.
This is an important point: Some will accuse the Judeo-Christian tradition of borrowing from the mythology of other cultures based on their similarity, but this is begging the question; for if the Christian worldview is correct they’ve got the cart before the horse and it these other mythologies that have passed down a corrupted version of once-shared knowledge. Interestingly, Romans 1:18-32
outlines a progression of world religions, from rejection of God to idolatry and nature worship to atheism and godlessness. Think about it.
Why not the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
Can you provide unique proof that it is the Abrahamic god?
But what evidence would convince a man who is willfully ignorant of these things?
17 Comments Add yours
Well said, Tony. God’s blessings!
Dittos to Catherine. I always enjoy your posts here.
Thanks for the insight brother. Atheists constantly bring up these “why not(s)”? I think it’s just a major misunderstanding or a dodge from the truth.
Excellent Work, I pity the atheists, for all their hostile ranting all they really show is that the Carnal mind is hostile toward God. We could reason w/them all day long, but unless their hearts are open to the conviction and drawing of God,they won’t understand.
Only God can grant them repentance, I think that fact is the most overlooked in apologetics.
Thank you for the encouragement, and you bring up an excellent point. I was just telling a class this morning, as we went over some Resurrection apologetics, that we cannot reason a person into the Kingdom. I reminded them that there are three classes of objections to Christianity we typically encounter: intellectual, emotional and volitional. Biblically speaking, the first two are a smokescreen to hide their volitional objection [i.e., they just don’t want to change their lifestyle or submit to God’s will]. I say Biblically speaking, because this is what the Bible teaches. For example, John 3:17-21 notes that God didn’t send his Son into the world to condemn it, for there was no need. It was condemned already – and this is the condemnation: that Light came into the world but they PREFERED darkness because their deeds were evil. Elsewhere [2 Peter], the Bible speaks of people who are willfully ignorant. On the other hand, we’re also told that the god of this world [Satan] has blinded their minds, lest they should see and repent. So I regularly warn my students [or audience in some cases] that we cannot hope to reason them in. That’s not the point of apologetics. The point is 2-fold:  To show unbelievers who have in fact been blinded by the lies of Satan [rather than simply being willfully ignorant] that Christianity is a reasonable faith [not a blind faith] and that there are answers to their questions; and  to edify [build up] the faith of the believer so that he can not only know what he ought to believe but why he should believe it.
Thanks for the cogent thoughts,
Rev Tony Breeden
Hi, Tony. Some quick questions. Am genuinely interested in the answers.
1) God is all powerful and can do anything that he wants. Satan only continues to exist and was created because God willed it so. Satan is sin. Why would a good God create or tolerate the existence sin?
2) There’s an incredible amount of suffering in the world. You’ll probably say that it’s caused by humans. How do newborns that have diseases or are tortured cause their own suffering by sin?
3) If humans are the root of sin, why would a benevolent God create beings that were going to be sinful, just to be punished tortured in hell for eternity? Because God is omniscient, he knew those millions of people were going to sin, even before he created them. In God time, our lifespans are nothing. So, God is creating beings that “He loves”, in such a way that they will sin, just to throw them in the trash (actually worse, Hell – burning and tortured forever).
EB, in answer to your inter-related questions on God and suffering, I offer the following:
 EB, you’ve set up a straw man. Satan is not sin. Satan is a being with free will who chose to rebel against God and His will and suffered punishment as a result. Sin and Satan are separate concepts. Now it is true that God created Satan, just as He created man. It is also true that he created both man and Satan with free will. Tell me how free will could be, if neither men nor angels had the ability to rebel against their Creator? It becomes apparent, upon reflection, that there is no way to create beings with free will without the possibility of evil. This is an importnant distinction: God did not create sin, but rather He created beings with free will; in creating free willed creatures, God created the potential for evil, but He did not actualize it. Knowing that sin and evil were always possibilities, He also set in place a plan to redeem His creations, because – in answer to you question – God cannot tolerate sin. Sin is an abomination because it is a rejection of God’s will. God is light, life, truth, goodness and perfection amongst other things; to reject His will is to reject Him and to embrace the absence of those qualities: to embrace darkness, death, error, evil and imperfection.
 I do note that the suffering in today’s world was caused by humans, but your question [“How do newborns that have diseases or are tortured cause their own suffering by sin?”] betrays a misunderstanding of what Biblical Christians mean when we say that. Keep in mind that Adam was given dominion over the Earth by the Creator. When a king makes a bad decision, his kingdom suffers. Likewise when Adam rebelled against his Creator, the earth was cursed with him. God’s original creation was perfect, without death, suffering, carnivory or sin. After Adam’s sin, the world fell with him, developing carnivory, thorns, genetic mutations, suffering, disease and death. Since we all inherit the same rebellious sin nature as Adam, we all share responsibility for the suffering we see and experience on this planet. The baby you mentioned suffers from both the indirect [disease] or direct [torture] effects of man’s sin. There was a fellow in the Bible who was born blind and Jesus’s disciples asked Him, “Who sinned that he was born blind: this man or his parents?” and Jesus answered neither. Sometimes we suffer from being born into a sin-cursed world. Sometimes we suffer because no one lends a hand to ease or remedy our situation.
 The problem is that God wants our willing worship and devotion, not the worship of robots with no other choice. Real free will requires the possibility of sin,the possibility of rejecting the Creator and His will. God didn’t send Christ to condemn the world, but to save it. It was already condemned because light come into the world but men prefered darkness because their deeds were evil. As explained previously, a rejection of the Creator is to embrace His absence: to embrace darkness, error, sin, death and imperfection. He loves them enough to allow them free will even if they choose their own destruction in the face of a free offering of salvation. CS Lewis probably said it best: “In the end, there are only two types of people, those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says ‘thy will be done.’
For more on Suffering from a Biblical POV see:
To me, I have free will because I make choices and don’t really know what’s going to happen next.. the ramifications of my actions. God, by definition, knows absolutely everything so he knows what’s going to happen. Every variable, every word, every action, for everybody. The only way we could have “real” free will, is if God creates us to be able to do what we want, and then makes himself ignorant of what we are going to do and what the results are going to be… basically creates voids in his knowledge. So, in doing this he would go from being an all knowing being, to a limited (flawed) being.
I used to think that by limiting a person from doing evil, you would disable them from having free will… but you know what? A person could make plenty of decisions, plenty of actions without doing evil. I can help a friend paint a house, I can feed a hungry person, I can play with my daughter, I can cook for my sick wife. See.. an infinite number of things without evil actions. God could have created a universe where his beings have free will without evil. The instant God created a universe that allows evil, he knew who was going to commit it and when. There is no guessing game with him, no following time in a linear fashion. Time doesn’t really exist to an omniscient being. He knows everything all at once. I understand this idea that he created us with free will and wants to see who will accept him and save themselves from the fire. Would you do this? Would have a son and daughter, blind them (we are ignorant and flawed beings), and cast them at 6 years old (we are children compared to an infinite God) into a pool full of sharks (sin, suffering, hell) because we’ve been “bad kids” and force them to say that they love us before we save them from the sharks? (actually Hell would be infinitely worse than being eaten by sharks for a few measly minutes) Is that a good father? Is that ethical? Is that not a psychopath?
You said the world is cursed because Adam rebelled against the Creator. The kingdom suffers due to actions of the king. So billions of beings, including thousands of babies and kids suffer because of what one man did eons ago? As soon as God created Adam he knew exactly what he would do and how it would curse the world. Since God knows all and what was going to happen with Adam, you can cut out the middle man, God created a cursed world full of suffering.
In response to what I said about babies, kids with diseases, being tortured etc, you say that sometimes we suffer from living in a sin filled world. Let’s say you are watching your 4 year old children in a park. A man comes along and starts stabbing them. What would you do? Would you take no action because “we live in a sin filled world”? The man leaves. Your children cry out in pain. Would you say “they have free will”, if i intervene i dont really love them? What would people think of you if you take no action? They would think you were an evil monster and they would be right.
God creates us, flawed beings that sin – therefore God creates sin. We are his creations, we only have the flawed limited tools he gives us. These bodies with their limitations and urges (that we are supposed to ignore) These minds that want to learn.. And apparently learn things that he doesn’t want us to. What kind of sadist does such a thing?
When God created Adam, did he know that he would sin? Did he know the world would be cursed? Did he know that billions would suffer horribly because of it?
While it’s true that you would be free to make many choices if you were limited from doing evil, there is one choice you could not make: whether or not to choose God’s will. In the Scriptures, God is defined as love, light, truth, perfection, just and good, among other attributes I could name. By rejecting God and His will, we embrace the absence of these qualities: hate and apathy, darkness, error, corruption and imperfection, injustice and… evil. Being unable to do anything apart from God’s will, we would be automatons. We would have no choice but to love and obey God. There could be no willing and full relationship with the Creator, since it would be mandatory by definition.
Now you may ask why a loving Creator would allow such a thing? Wouldn’t a loving Creator keep His creations from all harm? Not necessarily. As a parent, I let my children suffer the possibility of accident and harm every time I allow them greater independence. I could keep my children in a crib for all of his life to prevent him from possibly hurting himself in the act of learning how to walk; I could hold onto his hand eternally or keep him in a stroller rather than teaching him with greater and greatwer appropriate independence to cross the street safely; I could keep my children in a bubble of perpetual safety… but greater independence requires greater risk of harm and suffering, the possibility that my child will fall, that he might get stitches, that he might even die in some unavoidable accident. And a parent who loves his child wants more for that child than safety; a loving parent wants his child to become independent and productive.
You’ve also mistaken foreknowledge of the possibility of evil with causing evil. For example, I have a first aid kit in my house preceisely because I know that accidents are possible. When I teach my child to walk or ride a bike, I know that accidents are possible. Neither condition means that I am causing the accident by teaching them to ride a bike, to walk or by keeping a first aid kit. Likewise, God gave man free will to choose His will or reject. He also set in place a plan of redemption from the foundation of the world, just in case. Neither condition can be construed as a cause of suffering. Yes, God knew that Adam would sin; I believe that. I believe the concept of omniscience implies it. But knowing that your creation will reject you is not the same thing as actualizing that potential evil. But if God created a universe where his creations had limited free will which prevented them from doing evil, you and I would not be having this conversation; you would be incapable of it.
Your “shark tank father” analogy is flawed for the excellent reasoin that it is wrong. God does not cast these children into the shark tank, so to speak; they leap into it willingly by rejecting His will [which incidentally involves Paradise rather than eternal torment]. Only a truly rebellious creation would choose that shark tank rather than Paradise. You see, while we have inherited Adam’s sin nature [a sort of spiritual mutation that is passed down to each human], we have a choice. We suffer not because of what one man did aeons ago [though we live in such a fallen world until the restoration of all things because of his rebellion [not mistake]], but because we and other humans continue to reject God’s will. Babies die of disease and starvation because other men control resources and do not provide for the health and welfare of their fellow man. They go to hell, because they know in their heart that the sins they commit are worthy of death, yet they continue in them and reject God’s will [which again includes Paradise rather than hell]. Your attempt to “cut out the middle man” is a self-serving attempt t absolve yourself of the harm you yourself have inflicted upon this world and to blame God for creating you with the ability to inflict such harm. God created the knife called man! you cry, so God is responsible for war and murder; but God created that knife to cut food and to craft and to build. It is we who actualize the evil potential.
Your “stabber in a park” analogy fails because you do not realize that God fully intends to get rid of every stabber. A world where stabbers run ramapnt is a world of rebellious sinners like you, who reject God’s will and attempt to blame Him for the way you actualize the potential inherent in free will. The only way to restore the world to Paradise is to remove such sinners from the equation, whiuch is what hell is all about. A Paradise full of rebellious sinners would not be a Paradise for long! Yet God is willing that none should perish; He delays this knowing that yet more will choose Him over rebellious self-destruction. He delays the eradication of all suffering for their sake.
Rev Tony Breeden
You wrote about normal people in a comment: “they just don’t want to change their lifestyle or submit to God’s will”
Don’t want to submit to someone else’s fantasy?
You don’t get it. Atheists don’t believe in your fairy because there’s no real evidence for it, because 21st century science has made it unnecessary, and most important of all because it’s a childish idiotic idea.
You also claim there’s evidence for the resurrection of the dead Jeebus. I don’t think you know what real evidence is. For example a few hundred dead gullible witnesses is not evidence for anything. For something as ridiculous and disgusting as a stinking dead corpse returning to life, the evidence has to be way more than extremely powerful. And you have absolutely no evidence a real scientist would take seriously.
There are no god fairies because there’s no magic in the universe. You believe in magic anyway. It’s too bad. To me and other normal people it seems like you are suffering from an incurable mental illness. It’s a terrible waste of a life, and even worse you people infect the next generation with the same disease.
I realize that no amount of evidence is likely to change the set-in-stone heart of a dogmatist like you, but just in case others are honestly asking the questions you pose here, I offer the following articles:
But that’s just it: if us “evos” (love the expression, btw), actually were confronted with a compelling chain of evidence, many of us (myself included) would be willing to complete transform our worldview. Can you honestly say the same?
Well, considering that I was raised to believe the Bible, but then changed my entire worldview to that of an evo agnostic for about a decade based on what I then thought was a compeling chain of evidence… I’d say yes. The problem is that once I was no longer being given an uncritical, one-sided chain of evidence [such as what folks are typically presented with in public school and the first few years of college], I found a compelling chain of evidence that brought me back to a position of being a Biblical young earth creationist. You were confronted with a compelling chain of evidence without an examination of the theories flaws or a fair assessment of competing theistic theories; you were indoctrinated and told that there was no other compelling chain of evidence. But there is.
“Because he’s a poorly thatched straw man, demonstrably fabricated within the past decade. You may as well have asked Why not Mickey Mouse?”
You don’t realize that you just concluded the entire point of ‘Pastafarianism’ do you?
I do. The point is that the ad absurdum argument inherent in Pastafarianism is invalid precisely because we know the Noodly One is made up. It begs the question to imply that God is likewise imaginary, dismissing whether a supernatural Creator is reasonable or not.