In the previous two articles we examined examples of “definitional disproofs” of God, including: 1) perfection and a man-made definition of imperfect virtue cannot co-exist in God, and 2) a perfect God who deserves complete submission and worship is incompatible with autonomous human moral agency. Of course, no orthodox theologian would disagree with the first claim, but none would ever apply a human and imperfect virtue to a God of perfect power, holiness, and righteousness. The argument does not apply to the God of Scripture. As for the second claim, not only is submission to a perfect moral authority consistent with moral agency, it forms the most reasonable choice among the options continually available to moral agents. We would be foolish to trust the imperfect and sinful over the God of perfect knowledge, wisdom, power, and holiness. Of course, submission to God does contradict autonomous moral agency. Yet, to seek independence from the One who gave us life and all good things, apart from whom we have nothing, and to whom we owe all love, honor, and obedience comprises the essence of sin and should not be desired.
Moreover, fallen and finite man as an autonomous ultimate authority certainly contradicts God as the only supreme authority, but how does this obvious truth make God impossible? It does, however, display the need of repentance for those exalting their own perspective, opinion, and preference to the place of ultimate authority over God. Kant’s claim that “kneeling down or groveling on the ground, even to express your reverence for heavenly things, is contrary to human dignity” speaks volumes about the sinful heart that refuses to love and honor our infinite and benevolent Creator and Sustainer, but says nothing about God’s existence, except that many people do not like it and view God as an obstacle to their presumed authority and independence.
We come to the second category of arguments against God’s existence, what the editors call “deductive evil disproofs,” or variations of “the problem of evil.”  In the interest of brevity, the present article provides some helpful background, while future posts will address specifics. In general, denials of God built on the problem of evil enlist the same irrational assumption that underlies and undermines every argument against God—that finite and fallen people can speak with authority about things infinitely beyond them without God’s explanation. Mystery, the limits of human understanding, and unproven or unjustified premises will also demonstrate how logical and theological riddles need not worry believers. We will also see how appeals to the problem of evil to deny God display the unbelievers’ need of the Gospel of Christ.
In the opening paragraph of the first disproof appealing to the existence of evil, the author portrays belief in God as unsupportable and irrational, as embracing that which our own beliefs disprove.  We will see, however, that belief in God is logical and reasonable. Also, the mistaken notion that deductive proofs are the greatest evidence for the existence of God will be examined. Logic is necessary and vitally important for right thinking, yet most things are known before or without a process of deductive reasoning, and often with a greater certainty than a logical argument can provide. Knowing how and why this is true gives a better understanding of the nature of knowledge, proofs, why belief is reasonable, and why unbelief is without excuse.
The assumption that the miniscule can speak with authority about the ultimate, infinite, and transcendent underlies all denials of God’s existence. Alongside this stands the notion that what we cannot understand or logically demonstrate cannot exist or be true. In other words, reality in and beyond the universe is restricted to what we can comprehend. Atheists seem unaware or unwilling to admit that their entire enterprise stands on such an unreasonable idea. And as we will see, this belief governs every expression of the problem of evil.
Therefore, any serious discussion of God’s existence should consider the assumptions behind the claims and recognize the severely limited vantage point from which people speculate about God and ultimate realities. And again, every argument built on irrational, unjustified, or false assumptions is unsound.
Now, for some perspective…
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, And marked off the heavens by the span, And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, And weighed the mountains in a balance, And the hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge, And informed Him of the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust. Even Lebanon is not enough to burn, Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless (Isa. 40:12-17 NAS).
And as nations before an infinite God are as nothing, how much more our speculations? Moreover, consider the enormous depth and breadth of what we have yet to know of life and the universe, let alone that which lies beyond it. We can’t even know the content of an unopened gift in our hands, yet we speak with great authority about what lies beyond the few dimensions of our existence, a reality we could never know apart from God’s revelation. True wisdom admits its limitations.
So, until next time and always, “To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 1:24-25 NAS).
 Michael Martin and Ricki Monnier, eds., The Impossibility of God (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2003), 59-124.
 J. L. Mackie, “Evil and Omnipotence” in The Impossibility of God, 61.
Scriptures marked NAS are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, copyright© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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