Saturday, March 19, 2011
Recently journalist Martin Bashir interviewed Rob Bell concerning Bell’s heretical book Love Wins in which Bell denies the existence of eternal judgment, thus paving the way to a Universalist Gospel. In light of the recent devastation in Japan caused by the Tsunami, Bashir began the interview by asking Bell to answer what he thought to be a theological conundrum.
“Either God is all powerful, but He does not care about the people of Japan therefore the people are suffering or God does care about the people, but He is not all powerful.”
When Bell finally got around to giving an answer, he just said it is a paradox.
It is not a paradox, the question is a loaded question, a logical fallacy.
This is akin to asking, “Have you stopped beating your wife”? You cannot affirm or deny, you must reject the question because it contains erroneous information.
Likewise in response to the devastation in Japan, to conclude that either God is all powerful and does not care or God cares and is not all powerful, is to state categories of factual error.The truth is:
• God is all powerful
• God is all caring
What God is doing in the world, what He has decreed to happen in the world, what He has permitted to happen in the world, seems foolish or weak to the wisdom of the world.
So from the perspective of man what is happening often does not make sense and sometimes seems to be foolish.
Some in the religious community may begin to point fingers and say, “well it is because of specific sins that these people were judged.” We do not know that and cannot make those types of categorical statements.
God is all powerful and He can stop any “natural” disaster that He chooses.
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’
Amos 3:6 If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD have done it?
God does things for His Glory and for our good.
Genesis 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
So from man’s perspective, worldly wisdom, all is Vanity
Ecclesiastes 1:2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
Ecclesiastes 2:17 Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
We simply do not fully know the answer to the question why God does what He does.
We do know that we are responsible for our sin, and that God deals with us with grace and mercy.
All men have sinned against God and are worthy of not just temporary judgment, but eternal judgment. We know that when disaster strikes it reminds us of our total inability to rely on our own ingenuity for our salvation. Events like this are a gracious reminder of coming day of eternal judgment.
Luke 13:4–5 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
Our response should be to make sure that we are in a right relationship with God. We should make sure our affections are towards God.
Worldly wisdom rejects such notions as foolish and weak. So the atheist denies the existence of God…at least the one revealed in Holy Scripture, and the religious create a God patterned after their own wisdom and not according to the Scriptures.