Answering “Questions Christians Can’t Answer” #20 God’s Plan?

This article is part of a series working its way through a 2009 article titled “Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer“. This series contains, not a over-bountiful burden of unanswerable questions – but rather what might be termed “village atheist” questions leveled at your average, untrained congregant. The questions are all answerable with reference to Christian belief and theology – however the answers, as the author himself points out, do not meet the kind of materialistic proof demanded by the questioner. This is largely because the questions are not about physical proof for Christianity, but rather theological consistency and philosophical justification.

This being so, the answers given will be restrained to the areas of theology and philosophy. They show the internal consistency of the Christian belief system, but one cannot ask a metaphysical question and expect a materialistic answer. That, frankly, is a category error.

On to question 20:

Trusting God

20 – Why would you trust ‘God’s plan’ given his track record of many failures?

“When belief in God becomes difficult, the tendency is to turn away from Him; but in heaven’s name to what?”
-G.K. Chesterton

 

“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,”
-John 6:66-68

One would have to agree that God’s plan has been a failure before this question becomes pertinent. To call any particular aspect of “God’s plan” a failure is to presume to know what that plan was. Define God’s plan, show how it has failed, and then ask the question. If a seemingly unpleasant thing leads to a goal of ultimate good, that thing becomes necessary.
If God does not exist, it does not ultimately matter what anyone believes. Death is the end, and if the delusion of God gives life meaning – however false – it is as good as any other meaning one may choose to assign life.
If God exists and insists that human beings follow some set of rules in order to win his favor (as most non-Christian religions believe), then many of the questions in this series become pertinent. If humans are responsible for their own salvation, God really has failed them.
If God exists and has overcome the negative consequences of human choices and, indeed, his own wrath towards sin; then all one can do is to trust his plan.

This author suggests that God’s “plan” in all of the events occurring between Creation and Re-creation are the actualization of his nature. God cannot be Loving if there is nothing to love. He cannot be Just if there is nothing to judge. He cannot be Merciful if there are no faults upon which to pour his mercy, and he cannot be Forgiving if there is nothing to forgive. He cannot be Creator if he does not create, nor can he be Redeemer if there is nothing to redeem. All of the failures of human nature and society have been as a result of their direct choice to seek fulfillment in something outside of God’s nature – which things cannot fulfill. Their intentional turning from God results in a situation in which God owes them nothing. That God should choose to love that which was unlovely and redeem that which could not redeem itself is a manifestation of God’s true perfection.

This author suggests that fulfillment does not come from comfort, and one may be fulfilled in spite of pain. Fulfillment lies in ultimate truth, which truth is God.

Leave a Reply