Never failing to attempt to mount an attack on the Christian faith through the testimony of his own personal life, John Loftus uses his “deconversion story” as a means of questioning the character of the Christian God. But all that Loftus has done is take his Arminian, synergistic view of God and transfer it from his previous “Christianity” over to his newly defended atheism. Biblically speaking, is unbelief preposterous? Can the holiness of God not account for unbelief? Can the Potter’s freedom to mercy whomever he wills and harden whomever he wills not account for rejection of the gospel? And, can these attributes of God in conjunction with a Biblical anthropology as well as a Biblical harmatology (a realization of the total depravity of man, being unwilling and unable to believe) not explain to us why people like Loftus exist today? Based upon his own personal story, Loftus attempts an answer in the negative:
As an edited afterthought to this….I had some successes while a Christian minister. Had I stayed in ministry I could’ve made even greater contributions to the Church. So, why didn’t God protect me from the darts of the Devil? If I was a valued member of his people, why not protect me from my doubts?
Loftus assures us of his success and effectiveness as a Christian minister. I wonder, however, by what standard he judges this success, and whether or not that standard matches that of the Christian God. Given Loftus’ secular outlook, he has no other way of judging his years in ministry apart from mere externals (e.g, the number of people attending his church, etc). Is this really what God is concerned about? What if God judges “success” differently? Does it not begin to make sense why God, in his sovereignty, had Loftus leave the ministry by leaving the spurious faith he had?
I mean, are there not covenantal curses in having an unregenerate leader in God’s house? Apart from the mere mercy of God, should we expect him to move greatly through a person within whom the Spirit does not dwell? Should God not want to remove the deceiver from his house? Is God so limited in resources that if he loses Loftus, he would fail to accomplish his will in his church? Or, stated differently, does Loftus really have such a high view of himself?
Why did he let me slip through his hands like he did?
This assumes, without benefit of argument, that Loftus was ever “in his hands” in the sense of “in his salvific will.” But if we are talking about the decretive will of God, Loftus has not “slipped through” God’s hands. Rather, Loftus is exactly where God wants Loftus to be. Why? Because,
Daniel 4 4 …for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”
This statement, by the way, was made by someone who was much more roughed up in his lifetime than the deconversion of John Loftus. This was a person who had just had the sovereignty of God manifested in his life in a way that no one else in history of man (to my knowledge) has ever experienced: his mind was turned into that of a cow’s. And it was when Nebuchadnezzar returned to his sanity that he made this statement, and there is probably not a more sane statement he could have made.
I am now a fairly effective advocate against the Christian faith.
I wonder who else in the universe shares Loftus’ opinion here… ;-D
Did he not know this could/would happen?
He not only knew it, but he planned.
Does he not care whether I lead people toward him or away from him?
God’s concern is the accomplishment of his will on earth as it is in heaven. Do you think that God fails to accomplish his will in heaven? Should he, then, fail to accomplish it on earth, even in the lives of real people?
No doubt, Christians will respond that I rejected Christianity of my own free will.
This would be a weak and unbiblical defense. You rejected Christianity out of the sinfulness of your own will, but your will has never been free from the sovereign will of God.
But does free will really solve this problem for the Christian? Then let them tell me exactly what God can do for us as free willed creatures. For example, if we pray for safety when we travel, then exactly how can God grant us safety from someone hell-bent on robbing us when we stop for food at a restaurant? If God cannot do something to prevent that robber from exercising his free will to rob us, then he is a useless God.
It seems that John Loftus notices the incoherency of free-willism. It is a wonder why it took his becoming apostate in order to understand this.
And if God simply sovereignly decreed that I should be an apostate, then he is his own worst enemy.
How so? It’s just assumed and asserted, not shown. God decrees according to his will. Therefore, if his decrees are indeed in conjunction with his will, then how can they be at enmity with his will? It is simply amazing how the slightest bit of reasoned thought destroys these autobiographical objections that Loftus brings to us on a daily basis.
With decrees like that there must be a great amount of internal conflict within the Trinity itself! For such decrees are contrary to his stated desires (II Pet. 3:9).
If Loftus’ exegesis was bad as a proclaimed Christian, it is worse as an apostate. Would Loftus like to exegete 2 Peter 3:9 for us, perhaps? Would he like to count for us the amount of times that the words you or beloved appear in the surrounding context? Would he like to explain to us why he uses the universal quantifier differently than he supposes how it is used in the Scriptures?
In fact, that means God decreed I should start this Blog too!
Maybe God should just see a shrink
For being clay, Loftus sure knows how to talk back to the Potter.
…along with those who believe he can decree two contradictory things (and they are indeed contradictory things to decree, not merely unexplainable, unless one says God has a different logic than He’s given us).
And John Loftus, like a good atheist, uses the word “contradictory” while abandoning the correct definition of a contradiction. Remember, the law of non-contradiction states that A cannot equal non-A, in the same respect. Is Loftus going to argue that God’s perceptive will and his decretive will are within the realms of “the same respect“? No, it takes bad exegesis that rips a passage about the return of Christ out of its context and forces an eisegetical soteriological reading into it in order for Loftus to attempt to establish a contradiction on the part of God.