User:Philip J. Rayment/Weighing the evidence
How should I respond when someone claims that God must be cruel to order the destruction of children in a war against an enemy country, or some other seemingly-indefensible claim?
Do I scratch around for whatever explanation that I can find, or try and find some lame excuse myself? For that matter, why don't I just accept that God must be cruel? Why am I so unwilling to accept the obvious? Blind faith, perhaps?
No, it's not blind faith, and neither is it my responsibility to refute the claim. Sure, the Bible does tell us to have answers to those who question our faith. It also tells us to demolish arguments against God. But these are generalisations. No one individual could possibly have the answer to every last question that someone might throw at them, or be able to refute every single argument.
But if I can't answer such a question, doesn't that mean that the questioner has a point? Well, no, it doesn't necessarily mean that. Just because I don't have an answer doesn't mean that no answer exists.
But, I imagine the questioner objecting, if I can't answer his questions, how can I be confident in what I believe? The answer to that is what the title of this essay is about. But before I take that further, I'll take a diversion into the creation/evolution debate.
People often question me about some aspect of the creation model. "If koalas got all the way from Noah's Ark to Australia, why didn't rabbits?" I don't know the answer to that. It's a good question. It might be to do with the ecological zones that rabbits would have had to go through, which early koalas coped with better. Or perhaps koalas had human assistance. Who knows?
Creationary scientists don't get government funding. Or much other funding, for that matter. Compared to the research done into evolutionary scenarios, creationary research gets next to nothing. The remarkable thing is that they achieve as much research as they do. But it's still a drop in the bucket. Not having all the answers never stopped evolution, and it is no reason to reject creation either.
Despite not having some answers that we would really love to have, the fact is that we do have lots of answers. Not just about the creation/evolution issue, but other biblical questions also. Despite the superficial appearance that God is cruel, a fuller understanding of God leads us to understand that He is actually very benevolent. If you know of a good, kind, person about whom some negative allegations have been made, do you immediately change your opinion of the person to a negative one, or do you think to yourself, "that doesn't sound like the person I know. Perhaps there's been a misunderstanding somewhere"?
We do have lots of answer. We have answers for the fossils, the sedimentary rocks, mutations, speciation, homology, DNA, the starlight problem, and so on.
And we have evidence from archaeology that the Bible is a very reliable history books. And from biblical prophecy that something more than human thinking is going on. And evidence from science that is consistent with biblical teaching.
In other words, we have lots and lots of evidence that the Bible is true and that God is good. That there are a relatively few questions that some of us may not be able to answer (yet) is not reason enough to reject the Bible or its teaching. Of course that doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to find answers, but there are already sufficient answers to have confidence. The scales are already tipped heavily in favour of the Bible.
- ↑ It's beyond the scope of this essay to document all that evidence. The point is that having some unanswered or difficult questions is not reason to reject the Bible.