Mighty Timbo says he has now “fixed” the wording in his attempt at excusing God’s failure to show up. It no longer explicitly declares that “It doesn’t seem like knowing him personally did a whole lot of good,” but instead now only implies it. Semantics aside, though, the thrust of his argument remains the same: in the Bible stories, God’s presence among men was typically followed very shortly by disobedience and rebellion, sometimes while God was still there. It does indeed seem like this allegedly mighty, loving, and wise deity was singularly incapable of doing much good, whether the apologetic comes right out and admits it or not.
Of course, that’s not the point Timbo is trying to make. He’s just trying to indulge in a little bit of blame-shifting. It’s not God’s fault He fails to show up in real life, you see. It’s all those darned atheists and skeptics (and that stupid dog?) who are to blame. And perhaps they are, because if God is just a figment of people’s imaginations, then it’s true, a failure or refusal to imagine Him is going to make it impossible for Him to “show up” for them. But somehow I don’t see that as being an effective Christian apologetic.
The big weakness of this apologetic is that it is completely irrelevant. Suppose some do indeed rebel. So what? That would not prevent God from showing up in real life. I see real people all the time to whom I do not submit and obey and devote my entire life to serving them. Real people don’t find my independence any obstacle at all to their ability to show up in real life.
What’s more, it’s not even Biblical to suggest that my independence is somehow preventing God from showing up. As Timbo himself has kindly pointed out, virtually all of the alleged appearances of God have occurred in the context of people being disobedient and independent. If independence actually prevented God from showing up, then none of those Biblical stories can be true either—especially the story of the Incarnation!
And that’s true in general: any excuse you can think up for why God can’t show up today also becomes a reason why He could not have done so in the Bible either, and contrariwise the alleged appearances in the Bible disprove the claim that some greater factor must prevent Him from showing up today. This is one of the inherent contradictions in Christianity. The Bible is all about how willing and able God is to be here with each of us, in person, to participate in the personal relationship He Himself wanted badly enough to literally die for. Not any relationship that we demanded of Him, as though we were somehow seeking to rudely impose upon Him, but the relationship He allegedly initiates and wants to offer to us. And yet we can clearly see, in real life, that no such God cares enough to even show up and say “Good morning” now and then—not even for believers.
So I’m not asking for anything. I’m not defying God or demanding that He show up and “prove” Himself to me. I’m just pointing out that the stories of men say one thing, but when we look at the real world, we don’t actually find any real-life deity showing up and acting as though He had the slightest belief in any of the things men are saying about Him.
That’s not anything any atheist has any control over. God’s failure to show up is God’s failure, not the skeptics’. Only imaginary gods are so susceptible to the moods and beliefs of ordinary mortals. Timbo’s attempt to shift the blame onto ordinary people just goes to show how subjective and illusory his so-called “God” really is.