Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan): Where is God When Things Go Wrong?

Where is God When Things Go Wrong?” by evangelist and apologist John Blanchard is a free PDF booklet to download from David Legge’s www.preachtheword.com and by kind permission of www.evangelicalpress.org (Note: This download is for personal use only and should not be printed or copied. The book can be ordered singly or in bulk from Evangelical Press.)


Why should issues of good and evil, or human suffering, cause any problems? If the British philosopher Bertrand Russell was right to dismiss man as ‘a curious accident in a backwater’, why should it matter in the least whether lives are ended slowly or suddenly, peacefully or painfully, one by one or en masse? If the Oxford professor Peter Atkins, another dogmatic atheist, is right to call mankind ‘just a bit of slime on a planet’, why should we be remotely concerned at the systematic slaughter of six million Jews or half a million Rwandans? Are we traumatized when we see slime trodden on or shoveled down a drain? The whole world wept over the destruction and death brought about by the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, but why not have the same anguish over the fate of beetles or bacteria, rats or reptiles? If human beings are simply the result of countless chemical and biological accidents, how can they have any personal value, and why should we turn a hair if dictatorial regimes or natural disasters dispose of them by the million? The same applies to violence or bloodshed on a personal or limited basis. If we are nothing more than biological flukes, with no meaningful origin or destiny, why should the way we treat each other matter more than the way other creatures behave?

How can we jump from atoms to ethics and from molecules to morality? If we are merely genetically programmed machines, how can we condemn anything as being ‘evil’, or commend anything as being ‘good’? Why should we be concerned over issues of justice or fairness, or feel any obligation to treat other ‘machines’ with dignity or respect? When people respond to tragedy by asking, ‘How can there be a just God?’ their question is logically flawed, as without him words like ‘just’ and ‘unjust’ are purely matters of personal opinion.

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