“I find your lack of faith…disturbing.”
In his now famous book The God Delusion, outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins contends that “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.” …A couple more harsh adjectives and one might start to get the impression that he’s angry with God.
But, for those who have borne witness to the immense suffering and evil present in this world, it can be tempting to sympathize with Dawkins’ perspective. People (including theologians) have wrestled with the question for untold generations: If God is in control of the universe, and he is good, why is there so much suffering and evil? How does one, for example, rectify the existence of a good and just God with the occurrence of the holocaust?
The most tempting (and facile) way to answer this question is to simply state that God is not good and just…or, perhaps more commonly, that he does not exist. But this perspective is rooted in incorrect assumptions about God and the nature of his interaction with the world. Gregory Boyd explores this topic in his book Is God to Blame?Boyd labels the pervasive viewpoint that God is responsible for everything that happens in this world “the blueprint worldview” and calls attention to the philosophical and theological flaws this viewpoint contains:
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