Vacation plans

I’ll be out of town over the Thanksgiving weekend—I do have some posts lined up (including the next installment of On Guard, over at the other blog), so the place won’t be completely dead, but my Internet access is likely to be slim to none, so new commenters may have to wait a few days to get their comments approved.

Take care all.


The problem of honesty

One of the biggest problems for Christian apologetics is what to do with the problem of evil. God is supposedly all-good, all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. What’s more, He is also supposed to be the only truly self-existent Being. Everything else that exists was either created directly by God, or by a chain of cause-and-effect whose First Cause is ultimately God.

That’s a problem, because the world abounds in what Christians refer to as sin and evil, which should not be there. If the only self-existent Being is a perfectly good and loving Almighty God, then only good things should result from His deliberate and sovereign actions, even indirectly. No necessity can constrain God except those which are inherent in His nature, and thus if God’s nature does not require evil, then there can be no necessity that evil exist. As an almighty God He should be capable of creating a world without evil, and as a loving God He should want to do so. Thus, the existence of such a God necessarily implies the absence of evil, which contradicts what we see in real life.

William Lane Craig attempts to address this problem with an approach that is both subtle and profoundly deceptive: instead of directly confronting the contradictions raised by the existence of evil, he re-frames the debate into one where the only question is whether God’s existence is incompatible with human suffering. Since there are at least some circumstances where “no pain, no gain” is a valid observation, this re-definition stacks the deck in his favor, and leaves him with an easy out. The uncritical reader is then left with the feeling that Craig has dealt with the ancient Problem of Evil, when in fact all he’s done is a simple bait-and-switch.

(Read the rest of this post at Evangelical Realism. We’ve started chapter 7, and it’s a doozy.)

Conference time

Just a quick note: I’m going to be out of town Wednesday through Sunday and may or may not have access to the blog, so please bear with me if you need something and I’m not around. First-time commenters are most likely to be impacted, since I may not get your first comment approved right away, but I’ll get to it in a few days at least.

Take care all.


The moral duties of William Lane Craig

Over at Evangelical Realism, we’re discussing William Lane Craig’s “Argument from Moral Duty” for the existence of God. As usual for such Sunday posts, it’s about 2,000 words, so probably well past the “tl;dr” limit for a lot of people. If you’d like to jump to a shorter excerpt near the end, though, Dr. Craig offers an interesting response to the Euthyphro Dilemma, and I thought some of you might enjoy the abbreviated list of problems his answer creates. Craig’s answer is that there’s a third way out of the dilemma: that God is good by nature, and therefore His will is good. Take that Socrates.

The Moderation List

We’re having a bit of trouble with the side-bar widgets, so none of the links to my pages are showing up. I do want to advertise the URL for a page I just posted, though. It describes my policy on comment moderation. Basically, I don’t ban people for trolling, but I do put them on the Moderation List, which means I have to approve their comments before they will show up, and that won’t happen unless it’s a really good post that is interesting, accurate, and that advances the discussion of whatever topic it is commenting on.

Full details are here: The Moderation List.



This week on ER: A question of origins

In this week’s installment of our tour through On Guard by William Lane Craig, we look at his discussion of the scientific evidence for the beginning of the universe. Dr. Craig’s tone is hugely biased, of course, but despite this he does a remarkably good job of presenting an overview of modern cosmology, and it’s one I hope a lot of Christians and creationists pay attention to.

It’s only when he tries to make his faith fit in, at the end, that he really screws things up.

Read more at Evangelical Realism.