Posts tagged ‘inerrancy’

April 3, 2012

VT Debate–Response to the Atheist Objection that God is a Moral Monster

by Max Andrews

There were two main objections, which my atheist opponents defended during the VT debate on the existence of God.  One of the objections was from the problem of gratuitous evil, particularly natural evil, which I have already responded to here. The other objection raised during the debate was presented first after my opening statements. The argument was that because me and my debate partner were Christian theists the Christian God cannot exist because of the supposed atrocities in the Bible and other doctrines such as hell.

The argument began with the problem of predisposition. In other words, why you must approach your faith of choice with objectivity and skepticism and not confirmation bias.  However, in response, in order to identify and affirm the discovery of a truth one must not exhaust all possibilities.  Additionally, it works both ways.  If the criterion is applied fairly how can one deny the proposition, in this case, God exists, without examining all possibilities?  This criterion is untenable.  Also, to suggest that one is a Christian because of environment or spatiotemporal location is to commit the genetic fallacy.

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February 9, 2012

Theology Thursday: Karl Barth’s Theology

by Max Andrews

Theology Thursday is a new feature on the blog, which gives a brief introduction to a theological person of significance.

Theologian: Karl Barth (1886-1969)

General summary of his theology: Barth has made man contributions to Christian theology. In this post I’ll discuss general theological ideas in Barth’s thought.

If the word of God the task of theology then there is a problem:  of all disciplines theology alone is confronted with an unanswerable question [for us]–What is before birth and after death?.  The question that my finite self overcomes nihilism.  Theology, whether preaching or teaching, the theological task is impossible but necessary because the question must arise in we existing human beings; and so, theology as the human speaking the word of God as God’s own speaking cannot be done; therefore, No.  Yet, theology, in seeking to speak the word of God, to human finitude and human need must be done.  In recognizing that theology cannot be done and cannot answer the question while still pursuing and seeking after the answer is to do two things:  glorify God and may open the field (when God allows it) to the possibility that an answer may come from God to existing human beings.  No human being, though, can say or speak absolutely and unambiguously the word of God as God’s own speaking.  Therefore, any true word of God that comes through our human speech is again still NO and YES, YES and NO, because it both is and is not the word of God.

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December 16, 2011

A Geisler Carol

by Max Andrews

JP Holding just released a new parody video of A Christmas Carol and the Licona-Geisler controversy. Enjoy and share!

November 10, 2011

My Support and Endorsement of Mike Licona

by Max Andrews

It has been a long time coming but I wanted to publicly support Dr. Mike Licona amidst recent accusations of him denying inerrancy over Matthew 27.51-54 (the resurrection of the saints at the time of the crucifixion) in his most recent book The Resurrection of Jesus:  A Historiographical Approach.  Licona takes the position that this passage is apocalyptic imagery and is not literal.  To be clear from the beginning, Licona has not denied inerrancy.  He has been quite clear about that (even though he lost his job as the Apologetics Coordinator with the North American Mission Board over this… unfortunate).  Dr. Al Mohler is the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has openly condemned Licona for his position. 

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January 5, 2011

That Megalomaniac of a God

by Max Andrews

Interestingly, John Piper recently did a blog post on the same issue I’m writing on today but I’ll be looking at the issue from a different perspective.  I’ve been thinking about Paul Copan’s recent book Is God a Moral Monster (and here), though I haven’t read it, the main thesis to the book is important.

One of my favorite objections to the existence of God is an objection to the moral caliber of such a being.  A pop-atheist website,, is a good example. Richard Dawkins’ rant in The God Delusion will paint a nice picture of the problem,

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. (51)

Who can believe in a God like this?  Surely such a transcendent being is impossible, right?  Yes, such a transcendent being is impossible.  So is this a good argument for the atheist [or non-Christian]?  No, I don’t think it’s a good objection to the existence of God at all.  It’s misplaced, it’s really an objection to inerrancy.  Let’s refer back to Anselm, God is a maximally perfect being or the greatest conceivable being.  This would entail maximal ontological perfection.  The “megalomaniac objection” (what I prefer to call this) objects to God’s moral attributes (all things being equal, a lack of perfection).  If you drop inerrancy from one of the presuppositions of the objection then it implodes on itself because what the objector is referencing may indeed be false information, thus not an objection at all.

Now for those of us who hold to inerrancy, how do we respond?  If it comes up in a debate on the existence of God you need to explicate the objection’s misplacement.  It doesn’t belong in a discussion on the existence of God, it belongs in a discussion on inerrancy and that is an inter-Christian debate.  At that point you’ll need to have understanding of the Bible as a whole and the metanarrative (take that postmodernist, I used your word!) and construct a proper exegesis of the text.  So many times these objections are made by those who have a horrible exegesis in hand.