Wednesday, February 28, 2018

God in spandex

William Lane Craig holds Calvinism in great disdain. In light of that it's striking to see how similar their responses are to open theism/finite theism:


There are two reasons why this is pastorally short-sighted and unsatisfying. One is that it is built on a falsehood. God does not need to be “all-powerful” to keep people from being hurt in the collapse of a bridge. He doesn’t even need to be as powerful as a man. He only needs to show up and use a little bit of his power (say, on the level of Spiderman, or Jason Bourne)—he did create the universe, the Rabbi concedes—and (for example) cause some tremor a half-hour early to cause the workers to leave the bridge, and the traffic to be halted. This intervention would be something less spectacular than a world-wide flood, or a burning bush, or plague of frogs, or a divided Red Sea, or manna in the wilderness, or the walls of a city falling down—just a little tremor to get everybody off the bridge before it fell.


Some open theists report that certain people find genuine comfort in the thought that God is not providentially in control of the world and so cannot be held responsible for planning the evils that have befallen them. I can understand why some people would be comforted by the thought that there is a cognitively limited Superman on their side who is aligned with them in the struggle against evil and suffering and who cannot be blamed for the bad things that he did not see coming. But I wonder if such people have really thought through the open theist alternative. It doesn't take a genius to see that certain terrible moral or natural evils are about to happen, and a cognitively limited Superman would often seem blameworthy for not preventing or stopping them. C. Meister & J. Dew, eds. God and the Problem of Evil: Five Views (IVP 2017), 54. 

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