So, far in our blog series I’ve answered the firstsix objections laid out by YouTube personality PineCreek. I’ll wrap up the series today and hopefully this will give you, the reader, edification in terms of the answers, but also a ready defense for such questions. Admittedly, the last three I find to be the toughest questions to answer because they are personal and emotional. But, even with such questions, we need to be able to navigate them with precision and proper theology. So, lets dig in!
7 &8. If God commanded you to kill your loved one, would you do it and If God brought the utmost suffering to the world for 3 hours, would that be good?
Here, I’ve combined 7 &8 because they are generally related to the problem of evil. I also think they generally have the same answer. So, for #7, Given, that God’s nature is one of love and justice, if he commanded such a thing, he would have a just reason for it and therefore, we would be obligated to do it. Thus, in knowing that it was 100% the God of the Bible, I would kill a loved one if he commanded it. But is this scenario even realistic in light of the Hebrews author noting that the death/sacrifice/killing of Jesus was the death/sacrifice/killing for all time and for all people? This seems to be an appeal to emotion of the most extreme.
With regards to #8, I think PineCreek is trying to place our initial intuition that suffering is bad against a hypothetical choice God would make. By doing this, it seems that PineCreek wants us to impugn God’s morality because such a choice would drive against our intuitions regarding suffering and love.
However, if this hypothetical were actually to happen, then we would first have to take a look at the nature of God and suffering in the Bible in order to answer PineCreek’s question. What we see when we look into the Bible is that there are times when God allows suffering in order to bring about a person’s salvation or to steer them back to Him. We also see that God’s very nature is one of love and justice. From these facts, we can conclude that if God were to allow the utmost suffering for 3 hours, His nature dictates that He would have good reasons for allowing it. Thus, the suffering would be a good thing. For instance, God allowed Jesus to suffer the utmost pain and agony for 3 hours on a cross and what came from it? Salvation for Christians and the exaltation of Jesus upon his resurrection and ascension.
9. How do you tell the difference between having a personal relationship with your god and just thinking you do and are mistaken?
Often, emotions drive the answer to this question. Not that emotions aren’t a part of a relationship with Jesus, they certainly are. However, how can I know is a little bit different than how I feel. I could very well feel one way and be completely and totally misguided.
We know that we have a personal relationship with God and aren’t mistaken by what we read in the text of the Bible. The Bible outlines what a personal relationship with Jesus looks like and we have multiple examples. Thus, this question really comes down to the questions: What does the Bible say?; and, How reliable is the Bible?
10. What kind of evidence would you need to have to believe that my granddad had a 40 foot tall fire breathing dragon?
In answering this question, we would simply utilize common historical and archaeological methods used for verifying historical events or objects off the past. What would we need to know?
- What was the name of PineCreek’s grandfather? When was he born and when did he die?
- Is there any record of him purchasing, capturing, being given a dragon, or acquiring a dragon in any way, shape, or form?
- Did dragons ever exist? And if they did, did they live in the time and place where PineCreek’s grandad lived?
- Was anyone ever burned by PineCreek’s Grandad’s dragon? Or, did anyone ever encounter the dragon in any way?
- Is there a record that is mutually attested regarding the length of the Dragon?
These are just a couple of ways we can verify, historically and archaeologically that PineCreek’s granddad had a 40 foot tall, fire-breathing dragon.
Now, this is designed to poke holes in the reliability of the New Testament. However, there is more than enough evidence to support the claims of the New Testament and more specifically, the Gospels.
While these ten questions are challenging, perhaps even devastating for the unsuspecting Christian, they are neither unanswerable nor anything that Christians should fear.