Monday, December 10, 2012

The Good News of God's Wrath

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness..." (Romans 1:18) 

This verse is wonderfully good news.

Yesterday I was reminded of the various attacks of atheistic cynics against the claims of Christ. In particular I heard (again) about the supposed parallels between the Egyptian mythology regarding Osiris and the biblical account of Jesus Christ. According to the cynics, the New Testament account is just a reworked version of the story of Osiris. They find this argument very satisfying since it appears to justify their rejection of the New Testament claims of Jesus Christ to be God and Savior.

In fact, however, their claims about this are just an exercise in misdirection.

You can look up the Osiris myths for yourself and I will save a more detailed analysis for another post. Both the Osiris myth(s) and the Christian gospel deal with themes of life, death and afterlife. As such, there are incidental parallels between some elements.

But to focus on that completely misses the point. All it does is makes you look in the wrong direction. You have taken your eye off the ball, sad cynic.

The real question is this, "What is the answer to the problem of evil in the world?" This is the question that both the Egyptians and the Christians and various other religious groups are addressing.

The atheistic cynics (like Sam Harris) get all excited about the presence of evil in the world. They ask, "How could there be a God who is good if He allows such evil to exist in the world?" They admit that some things are evil - but they claim that it proves there is no God.

But if there is no God who has imparted moral reality to the universe, then why do you believe some things are evil? Without God, there is no moral absolute. Nothing is really good or evil. Every action of man is equally amoral. The question "Why" has not answer.  There is no ultimate meaning or purpose to life. There is no ultimate destination. There is no judgment or justice. We are but biochemical bubbles floating along until we pop. Then there is nothing.

Why should anyone be outraged by anyone else's behavior? We are only the product of our biochemical make-up and our actions are predetermined by the meaningless operations of those chemicals in our being. One person's "goodness" is another person's "evil." It is meaningless.

But most people (including Sam Harris) find this to be a very unsatisfying perspective. We recognize some things to be genuinely evil. We know it when we see it. We feel it in our innermost being - and it upsets us. (Usually we are more upset by other people's evil than we are by our own.)

The good news in the Bible is that evil is real and that God's wrath against evil will resolve the problem of evil once and for all. Life has meaning and purpose, there are moral absolutes, justice will prevail.

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