Letters from an Atheist, Part 4

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Atheism Leave a Comment

I’m enjoying my email dialogues with Jake. He is caring and respectful while still making his arguments against Christianity.

His latest post made the point that it’s ridiculous for Christians to attribute accidental “blessings” to God. He gave this example:

Recently a construction blast sent a 20-ton boulder rumbling toward a church in MA, but the boulder came to rest one foot from an outside wall.

The church, called Grace Ministries, feeds thousands in the community each year out of its food pantry. Many folks in the neighborhood agreed that the Lord intervened to save the church from certain demolition by the giant rock.

Jake thinks such nonsense actually hurts the cause of Christ. After all, while one church was spared by God on this day, 25,000 children around the world died of malnutrition.

Like many atheists, Jake likes to make common sense arguments. This is a good one because it pits suffering children against God!

In response, I noticed that this was neither a scientific argument or a strictly logical one, but rather, highly speculative.

I decided to point this out to Jake — the fourth time I’d critiqued his methodology.

In my email to Jake I wrote that you’d have to know a lot about God to know which projects he’s working on, whether large or small, starvation or saving one church. It’s quite possible he’s active in both. A skeptic would have no way of knowing.

* * *

In this exchange I could have tried to make a case for God’s sovereign control over all the events in the universe, including the “staying” of the rolling boulder in question. But that’s a tall order.

Instead, I chose a smaller project (again), attempting to show Jake that his argument is subjective and speculative. That’s enough for now.

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