While most non-atheists do think I’m a fairly intelligent person, I am the first to point out that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, nor the brightest bulb in the socket. Even if I were the smartest person in the world, as I was recently given permission to be, most Christians would fully agree that God must be much, much smarter than I. Or me. (God would know which word to use there, for instance.)
But if the Arminian God happens to be the real God, it turns out that God isn’t really all that intelligent after all. Our recent discussions with EgoMarkarios have highlighted the importance of freedom in the Arminian universe, and I won’t go over those details again. Instead, I will now point out a few simple things, starting with an analogy.
Suppose there is a young college student, Bill, who is studying in the library one day when he spots a young female college student likewise studying. Bill is immediately attracted to this woman, and he goes over to introduce himself. Since he’s never seen the inside of a Gap and is instead wearing a John Loftus cowboy hat, she naturally tells him to get lost.
This obviously disappoints our poor college student, but he’s a clever individual. He sees that the young woman’s friends are with her and he recognizes one of them as someone from his 20th Century Postmodern Feminist Shakespearean Hermeneutics class. He meets with the friend of his crush the very next day and asks her for details on the woman, who’s name turns out to be Sue (only fitting as she is a lawyer). It turns out that Sue prefers men who bring her flowers, who dress in Armani, and who believe Dennis Kucinich really saw a UFO.
Bill really wants to go out with Sue. As a result, he ditches his Loftusian cowboy hat and buys an Armani suit. He purchases a dozen roses, and he tries as hard as he can to believe Kucinich saw a UFO. He gives up and decides that he can at least lie about that. Bill returns to the woman.
Sue rejects him yet again, but this time she says, “Nice try” without the sneer.
“What more can I do to get you to like me?” Bill asks.
“You can help me with my Abacus class.”
Bill doesn’t know anything about abacuses, but he decides right there that by the next day he will be the world’s expert on abacuses. And sure enough, he succeeds. Sue gets an A on her test, and slowly she begins to realize that Bill is a nice individual after all.
Eventually they marry, have 2.3 kids, and live happily ever after in a house with 1.7 bathrooms.
Class Discussion: In what way were homosexuals discriminated against in this example?
Now as ought to be plain to see, Bill really wanted Sue to fall in love with him. But Sue initially rejected Bill. If Bill were the Arminian God, he would have given up at this point as Sue’s free will could not be overcome. Instead, Bill reasoned that he could present himself attractively to Sue until she finally saw that he was exactly what she wanted in a man. So he did just that.
Bill learned things about Sue from Sue’s friend, and he used what he learned to slowly change Sue’s mind. Sue’s will was originally to shun Bill forever, but eventually she became persuaded to marry him. Bill could do that…why can’t God?
In fact, doesn’t God know who we are even better than we do ourselves? Isn’t it true that the Creator who formed us in the womb and knows us intimately would know exactly what was needed to convince us that He is real? Ask atheists and most of them will say, “If God rearranged the stars in the sky to spell Jesus Is Lord, I’d believe.” Yet God doesn’t do so.
Why not? God has the power, and simply acquiescing to such a request would not be a violation of the atheist’s free will. He would, in fact, be doing what the atheist requested of his own free will, wouldn’t He?
Now surely if I am smart enough to see this is true, God must know it too, for He is wiser than I am. He knows what everyone needs, and He is able to present Himself to everyone exactly as they are needed. Why, then, doesn’t He do so?
Apparently the Arminian God is either too stupid to understand this…or He doesn’t actually care about saving all (means all!) the world after all (still means all!). Surely God isn’t an omnipotent Forest Gump, so what’s the explanation?
Perhaps men are simply so evil that God knows rearranging the stars wouldn’t convince atheists He existed…but no, that’s too much like total depravity, and we can’t have that if we want to preserve freedom.
So we must conclude that the Arminian God really is just plain ol’ stupid is as stupid does.