Thursday, April 19, 2012

An Ingenuous Apologetic (. . . or why I still believe that Christianity is true . . . or mostly true). The Problems with Christianity

I promised that before I ended this narrative that I would talk about the problems within the Christian option . . . meaning the problems that I personally perceive. Sticking with the intention of writing ingenuously, I will reveal what no Christian testimony normally would.

I dare you to stand up in any evangelical church service and say, "While I really believe that Christianity is true, some parts make no sense."  Then sit down and see what happens.  I guarantee that a wave of superficial cliches would pour out on you.  "I know God is there because I sense Him in my heart . . . in a very real way, it all makes perfect sense. If you have the mind of God you would see that it is profoundly reasonable."

Like I said many times before, there is no easy path out of the pit. As a Christian, I can explain this difficulty as the mind is fallen, thus can not find its way out easily. A perfect mind would not, in theory, have this problem.

So what are my problems with Christianity.

1) God is silent.  While the Christian narrative has God acting in space and time, historically, there has not been a verifiable contact with God in space and time in two millennia. Sure, miracles are attested to all the time. Sit with a group of evangelicals and you will hear of constant miracles . . . but let's get real for a moment.  Raising Lazarus from the dead after rotting for three days . . . that's a miracle. Your uncle recovering from heart surgery (when 78% of patients do) is not a miracle. The Mets winning the World Series in 1969 was not a miracle. The fluttering feeling that you felt in your stomach, was not supernatural.

Now a Christian would have to assume that the reason God is silent is because it is part of His plan rather than Him being impotent. But it would certainly make life a heck of lot easier if He made a grand appearance now and then.

2) Why Was the Gospel Necessary? While I've personally explained why the gospel was necessary many, many times and even preached on it myself, it does beg the question as to why?  If God is omnipotent, then He would have the ability to do things differently. He could have prevented sin from entering the world. He could have avoided the need for Christ to die on the cross.  The gospel story, in ways, sounds like it could have been written by Hans Christian Anderson.

3) If the Holy Spirit's role is to purify people, why is it that Christians have no more, overall, purity than non-Christians?  While Christians may drink, smoke, curse less than non-Christians, I honestly think they, in general, lie more.  They lie about their motives, their witness of miracles, and even about the events of day to day life, in order to make themselves appear more spiritual.

4) Why is there this confusion between the Biblical narrative in primordial history and the scientific record? It would be much easier if the two dove tailed without question.

I will rest my case with those problems. But despite these, I am still a Christian because I believe the Christian answers, such as the problem of evil, is better than the answers of the other possibilities.


Tapji said...

Good post. There are still a couple other problems too , some philosophical issues & God in relation to modern cosmology etc. But those issues run pretty deep.

Anonymous said...

I generally have the same problems. But the problem of pain and suffering is at the fore front for me. Under your #2 I would add, "why couldn't God forgive sins without the need for a sacrifice?" We do!

Jaimie said...

The gospel made some sense to me recently when I was thinking about evolution of all things. How I come from the same line as my roommate's cat, and yet I am so far above that cat. The cat would look at my actions and see jibberish.

So then it made a little sense to me that the whole "death must atone for your sins" thing seems like jibberish, a child's made-up story. The facts of the gospel aren't meant for us; they're God doing things for God to understand; and we reap the benefits.

It's like how the cat might not get why we have to go to work for 8 hours a day or do any of the things we need to do to maintain a household, but the cat might understand that it gets to eat because I'm a good adult. And so I understand that I can be friends with God because of things-I-don't-understand.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! That's thinking outside the box!

jmj said...

Jaimie, I think you are right and that is the only choice I have. I can't get my own head around it, but surely it makes sense to God. I don't mean that as an intellectual cop-out but it is really the only choice.