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Elpedio Robinson: Christian apologists can't find footing

Published:Tuesday | September 15, 2015 | 12:00 AME. Elpedio Robinson, Contributor

On Monday, September 7, 2015, in the online Gleaner, Dr Michael Abrahams published an article titled 'The God of the Bible is not merciful', which has disturbed an ants' nest of Christian apologists.

It is generally assumed that those claiming privileged relationship with God should manifest greater clarity of thought and more robust reasoning in their arguments. Lamentably, however, it is not so, Often, when these persons are called upon to give an account of their faith, they only succeed in making their God seem foolish and irrational.

I find this display of mediocre reasoning quite puzzling considering most of these apologists are persons of high scholarship. Take, for example, Clinton Chisholm's article in The Sunday Gleaner of September 13, 2015. His article is supposed to be making the case for the mercifulness of his God. Sadly, he only succeeds in obfuscating the issue.

Mr Chisholm's equating his God with the manifestation of man's demonstrable inadequate systems is indicative of how we have arrived at the various erroneous positions about God. We tend to impose our finite understanding of our humanness on to the infinite God. All we need to do is to subjugate our ego and let God manifest itself in us according to our capacity at any given time on the continuum of our development. In this way, there would be greater convergence of thoughts of God among religions and philosophies.

 

anaemic arguments

I often wonder, why do Christian apologists almost always fall so dismally short of putting up an unassailable philosophical and theological defence of their God? Then it occurred to me that the reason for their anaemic arguments is a faulty premise: They believe the Bible is the infallible word of God. This, despite the common knowledge that the Bible that we now have has gone through several permutations.

Now, let us grant that the original words were inspired by God. Can we also say the several translations and editings were also inspired by God? If not, is it not, therefore, reasonable to assume that much of what is now being defended might well have been insinuated into the Bible's narratives by man?

You see, the Christian apologists' dilemma is this: Should they agree with Dr Abrahams' position, and others, like him, they would have to revisit their position on the infallibility of the Bible, which, being the foundation of their faith, is unthinkable. Therefore, they have painted themselves into a corner by creating a false premise in the first place.

Whenever I read the Bible, I do so against the background of the infinite love of God. Now, anything that is incongruent with this basic assumption is not of God. Let us take a look at the narrative of Deuteronomy in which is recorded horrifically barbaric violence committed against people whose only sin was that they occupied lands that were supposedly promised to so-called God's chosen.

 

deceitful cloak

Certainly, the narrative would read much more palatably if God, in his omnipotence, simply put it into these squatters' hearts to relocate themselves elsewhere rather than killing every man, woman and child, and, in some instances, even the livestock. However you look at this, it is not merciful and cannot be defended.

I asseverate that if these events really took place, they had absolutely nothing to do with God. God did not tell anyone to commit genocide. That was purely the act of the wickedness of man under the deceitful cloak of God.

What I also find very curious about the Christian apologists is that in trying to buttress their position, they continue to quote from an assortment of scholarship, the premises of which, in most cases, are indeterminable. All of this is done while ignoring the exhortation of the very Bible they hold to be so infallible that if anyone lacks wisdom, he/she should ask God. (James 1:5).

Why do they continue, therefore, to consult with everyone else except the very God who is willing to give wisdom liberally? Could it be that they really do not believe that the God of the Bible is real? Think about it.

- E. Elpedio Robinson is a fine artist. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and elpediofineart@yahoo.com.