STUDY 2: FALSE VIEWS OF GOD
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Atheism’s Third Argument and its Refutations
Atheism’ third argument is that there cannot be a Creator, because there is so much imperfection in the world, while an all-wise Creator, it claims, would have made everything perfect. We agree with this premise, but it is folly to conclude from these imperfections that there is no God.
(1.) The creative work on man and the earth, according to the Bible, is still not a completed work, therefore it is unwise to base this argument on an incomplete work. Hence it is unfair and illogical to charge an incompleted work with imperfection, much less its author with non-existence because of such imperfections, since it is inevitably the condition of all incompleted works. Thus the imperfections of God’s incompleted work do not disprove His existence any more than the imperfections of an incompletely built house disprove the existence of its architect.
(2.) An objection to the Creator’s existence based upon imperfection in His work, proves no more than that the Creator might be imperfect, and not that He is non-existent. But such a charge cannot be brought fairly and logically against the author of an incompleted work on which He is still active.
Atheism’s Fourth Argument and its Refutations
Atheism’s fourth argument is that there are many harmful things in nature bringing suffering on man and beast; therefore there can be no Creator; otherwise He would put them aside. Again, we agree with the premise, but there are good and sufficient reasons showing that such harmful things do not prove that there is no God.
(1.) None of these things imply God’s non-existence any more than the presence of the sick in a hospital implies that curative agencies do not exist, or any more than the presence of criminals in a country implies that civil officers do not exist there, or any more than the pains of a bad child undergoing chastisement from his father prove that he has no father.
(2.) The good results effected by harmful things on some characters prove that they are wisely designed; and hence, instead of implying God’s non-existence, they are in line with both His existence and goodness.
(3.) The fact that the wicked and selfish are the more quickly cut down by evil show that sufferings and death have a ministry of good in them; and thus they do not militate against God’s goodness nor His existence.
(4.) The Bible teaches that evil is permitted to the wicked and selfish to teach them by experience that sin is bad in its nature and terrible in its effects, and therefore should be hated and forsaken. The experience with evil is the first part of God’s creative process in bringing the race to perfection and happiness. A subsequent experience with righteousness will be the other part of His creative process to bring the race to perfection and happiness. God set out to create a race of free moral agents, who, intelligently appreciating sin from an experience of its nature and effects, would as a result of these two teachers, hate and have nothing to do with sin and love and practice righteousness.
By becoming Adam’s substitute in death, Jesus became the possessor of something the race needs – life and righteousness – things that were forfeited by Adam and that plunged the race into the experience with evil. This asset He will use as the indispensable thing to bring the race – dead and living – out of the experience of evil and into an experience with righteousness. Then the race, educated in head and heart by the best of teachers – experience – as to sin and righteousness, will be given crucial tests to demonstrate whether it will permit moral law freely to control it, so that God may get what He designed to bring into existence – a race of free moral agents who, intelligently appreciating sin and righteousness, will hate and avoid the former and love and practice the latter. These crucial tests will manifest the heart’s attitude of each toward sin and righteousness, and will be followed by the eternal annihilation of those proven to be unwilling to let moral law control them, and by the everlasting preservation in blessedness and goodness of those who faithfully stand the trial, as willing to be controlled by moral law.
Additional to the reasons given in refutation of atheism’s four arguments, the following may also be given: (1) the impossibility of its proof by a finite being; (2) the presence of high and noble faculties of the human brain; (3) its being against public policy and individual good; and (4) its encouraging in some pride and arrogance, and in others gloom and despair.
(to be continued)
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