Answering “Questions Christians Can’t Answer” #17 God’s Failure?

Scrutinizing a document titled “Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer” is no easy task for the Christian – if for no other reason than sheer volume.

At the risk of seeming ungracious, the author of this document is less than sophisticated in many of his arguments, which seem aimed more at mocking the Christian than challenging them intellectually. The challenge of these questions has less to do with the Christian justifying their consistency in their belief system, and more to do with the satisfaction of the person asking the questions.

Whatever the case, this article series is intended to look at each question individually in the course of fifty entries. The aim will be to show the consistency of the Christian worldview, even if not to the satisfaction of the skeptic.

Enjoy number 17 out of 50.

Providence

17 – If God is perfect and his creations perfect, why did he fail several times? He had to impose suffering upon the human race because Adam and Eve defied him by eating of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Failed!  He had to flood the planet 1,600 years later wiping out all but eight humans. Failure! He had to confuse human language after Nimrod and the Tower of Babel incident so that they could not effectively communicate with each other. Failure! How is this a track record of a perfect being?

The metanarrative of scripture is this: God created a world in which there was no sin. Humans brought sin into the world through a free act of rebellion (a failure on the part of humans, not on God). Since then, God has allowed humans autonomy, but has not allowed them to fall into utter corruption. All of the incidents cited in this question were instances of divine intervention to prevent humans from absolute self-destruction.

God’s holiness demands that he eliminate all that is corrupt. His love demands that he save and forgive. Notice that in each of these instances of human failure God judges, but also creates an avenue to escape judgment.
The final reconciliation between God’s holiness and his love was Jesus, who absorbed the judgment and credited his righteousness to human beings such that humans who fail may call upon his grace to forgive them once and for all.
In reconciling his seemingly contradictory holiness and love, God has achieved ultimate success where humans have failed. The failure of humans has ultimately led to the glorification and revelation of God’s nature including such things as his purity, justice, love, beauty, and power; all attributes that are only seen in God’s interaction with imperfect humans; and which would otherwise never have been enacted at all.

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