Silly Atheists! Truth is for Christians (Qs 1-5 Answered)

Taken from “Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer” by REPuckett.

1 – If God is omnipotent (all-powerful), why did he take six days to create everything? Why not speak everything into existence all at once?

Creation_Icon_-_Large_copyThis kind of question arises from a fundamental misunderstanding of the Scriptures which unfortunately even many Christians fall prey to.  The point of the creation myth (and I use the word “myth” not in the pejorative sense, but in the proper anthropological sense) is not where and when God created, but rather that God created everything ex nihilo by “speaking” all things into existence.  The Genesis story is a poetic canticle about God’s genius and his overflowing, life-giving love manifested as the creative power.  He did NOT create the world in six literal days as the creationists claim, nor over millions of years miraculously intervening to create new organisms as the IDers insist, nor once and for all before stepping back to let things unfold according to plan as a deist might propose.  Rather, God creates eternally – producing the universe in one eternal moment and sustaining its existence through time rather as a musician sustains a song.  May I bring your attention to the always profound C.S. Lewis’ creation analogy found in The Magician’s Nephew, in which Aslan the Lion (who represents the Word of God) forms Narnia through the words of a song.  So we see that creation is not a once-in-history event, but an eternal overflowing of the love of God.  A Thomist philosopher, Michael W. Tkacz, wrote an excellent article for Catholic Answers on this subject.  It can be found HERE.

2 – Why won’t God heal amputees?

jesus-healed-malchus-earWell, why are we so sure He hasn’t?  I find this question on many similar lists and am starting to wonder why atheists this is such a brilliant question.  Implicit in this question in the (unwarranted) assumption that God has never heeled an amputee, an assertion with which I’m not comfortable at all.  I recall a story in the Gospels in which Our Lord heels a man’s deformed limb.

“And he [Jesus] entered again into the synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they watched him whether he would heal on the sabbath days; that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand: Stand up in the midst. And he saith to them: Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy? But they held their peace. And looking round about on them with anger, being grieved for the blindness of their hearts, he saith to the man: Stretch forth thy hand. And he stretched it forth: and his hand was restored unto him.”                         (St. Mark 3:1-5)

If anyone has seen a deformed limb, one knows it is just as likely to spontaneously regenerated as an amputated one.  Not to mention that incident int he Gospel of Luke concerning the centurion’s ear.  Anyway, the question also makes me wonder, why should God heel amputees?  Or, more importantly, why should God pander to our insignificant needs.  God answers our prayers IF they are beneficial to our spiritual growth.  Asking, why won’t God heel amputees? is much like asking, why won’t God boost my 401K? or why won’t God pay for my plastic surgery?

3 – If God is so perfect, then why did he create something so imperfect allowing pain, suffering and daily atrocities?

tears_of_sadnessFree will is better than non-free will.  Thus for God to create perfect intelligent beings (human and angels) without free will would be imperfect, wherein lies the contradiction.  Even God cannot do the logically impossible.  As perfect and intelligent beings, we MUST have free will.  Free will is part of the definition of perfect intelligent beings.  However, when given this gift of free will, there is always the possibility that this will be abused for evil.  When beings freely choose evil, they cut themselves off from the grace of God, and since God is the source of all goodness – rather, goodness itself – this separation naturally results in suffering and pain.  Even for those who choose good there is suffering, for such is living in a fallen world.  In short, pain and suffering are the results of sin, the falling short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  Though God allows pain and suffering for reasons we will discuss later, they are not his fault not do they originate in him.

4 – Why did the little old lady that God healed one Sunday need her walker to get around again next Sunday? Was she only temporarily worthy of a healing?

Not sure what is being referred to, but I’ll do my best.  My best guess in this situation is that she was not really heeled.  Most “healings” or “miracles” are utter crap brought on by credulity and the placebo effect.

5 – How did Noah fit the millions and millions of species of animals on this planet into his ark? It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to realize the physical impossibility of this.

Noah+s+Ark.+100+OC+by+Me++100+for+more+-100+never+again_2cf445_3601249Oh brother . . . Short answer: HE DIDN’T!  This question suffers from the assumption of the first question, namely that all Christians are Fundamentalist Protestants.  At this point I think it would be helpful to clarify just what exactly the Scriptures are, and what they mean to authentic, apostolic Christians.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength” (# 104).  So we see the Bible is not a monolithic whole of strict, dogmatic pronouncements of faith (for this we have councils and encyclicals), but rather an organic, constantly deepening library of truths breathed forth by the Holy Spirit at different times to different men who often had very different ideas of God.  For this reason the God of the Bible begins as a tribal deity, but is eventually revealed in the Gospels to be a universal God, the Trinity, LORD of all creation.  When seen in this light, the Scriptures are a forever unfolding mystery of who God is.  Thus we find not just historical accoAshleys_Baptism_for_web_large1unts of God’s encounters with men in the Bible, but also lyric poetry, mysticism, philosophy, wisdom literature, allegory, and mythology.  It is absurd to limit the Scriptures to only one of these styles by either thinking of them too literally, or by dismissing them all as pious fables.  Each book, no each story, in the Bible must be thought of in all of these genres at once so as not to miss any possible nuances left by the genius of the Holy Spirit.  It would be tragic to miss the obvious baptismal imagery in the Noah story, but also silly to dismiss Noah as an entirely fictional figure invented to tell a Divine Comedy.  The Bible can only be understood as a document within the context of the Church.  When one does this, one realizes the historicity of the Noah story is irrelevant to the faith of the Church.

Resources:

Veritas Bible

Summa Theologica

Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?

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3 Responses to Silly Atheists! Truth is for Christians (Qs 1-5 Answered)

  1. MyLan says:

    Ahhh, number two is my favorite!

  2. jjim says:

    wait, what do you mean for number 5? are you saying the passage is a metaphor? then how can i tell which scriptures are literal and nonliteral??

    • The same way you tell if any piece of literature is to be taken literally. You don’t read the New York Times the same way you read The Lord of the Rings. Also, from a Christian perspective, it is helpful to understand the implications of such readings to theology. If the Noah story is a metaphor or a myth, who cares? The faith does not rest on Noah. If the Gospels are a myth then the whole thing comes crashing down. One needs to stop thinking of the Bible as one book. It’s not. It is a collection of books written over a two-thousand year period by up to sixty authors. Asking someone if they take the Bible literally is like asking if they take the library literally. The question doesn’t make sense.

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