The Unexpected God

Of the many arguments that can be made against the existence of the Christian God, here are two of the more common:

  1. God is an invention, created by humans to explain things they don’t understand. Our ancestors used God to answer the mysteries of the natural world. We use God to answer the meaning and randomness of life.
  2. The problem of pain, as described by C.S. Lewis: “If God were good, He would make His creatures perfectly happy, and if He were almighty He would be able to do what he wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore God lacks either goodness, or power, or both.”

On their own, both arguments are quite convincing. But it’s when you try to put them together you run into problems.

The Christian view is that God is indeed all powerful, perfectly just and good. But where did this view come from? It’s not like these characteristics are somehow the default, and shared by all other gods.

That’s what makes Christianity so… strange. It doesn’t describe reality as humans experience it. It’s not what you would have expected humans to invent, in fact it’s the exact opposite. The world was cruel, so it’s no surprise that humans believed in cruel gods. Ever so often the world was a little less cruel, so it’s no surprise that humans believed that the cruel gods could be appeased with sacrifices and good deeds.

But a perfectly good God in a world that is everything but? A God whose character is consistent, even when the circumstances of life aren’t? It’s such an outrageous idea, it’s hard to imagine it having been conceived in the first place. Much less to have survived for 2,000 years and spread across the world.

Unless, of course, it’s true.

Thanks for your 2 minutes!