Tuesday, April 21, 2009


William Lane Craig maintains an interesting site where he responds to questions about the faith. The site currently features this letter and Dr. Craig's response. The letter:
I read your article “Does God Exist” and in it you stated this:
“If God does not exist, then we must ultimately live without hope. If there is no God, then there is ultimately no hope for deliverance from the shortcomings of our finite existence.”
I have to simply disagree with this. I think as an atheist one can certainly live with tremendous hope. I mean if there is no God then there is no ultimate accountability. No fear going before a Just and Holy God to give an account of one’s life. One can live the life of their choosing as a result of this, with no fear of retribution. This is hope to the atheist.

Can you refute this kind of hope?
I've encountered that argument several times in my life — perhaps because in my professional life I was constantly in contact with young adults who found the moral constraints of Christianity rather onerous. Dr. Craig's response, in part:
...Christianity...not only provides hope of deliverance from evil and from aging, disease, and death, but it also furnishes the hope which you yourself cherish: deliverance from the hands of a just and holy God. This was Martin Luther’s great insight. The same righteousness of God that wrought his condemnation as a sinner outside of Christ, that very same righteousness became the source of salvation for him as one who by faith is united with Christ. For when you trust Christ as your Savior and Lord, God reckons to your account Christ’s righteousness. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8.1).

Thus any hope the atheist might entertain is enjoyed many times over by the Christian, for we enjoy, not merely escape from judgement, but positive salvation. ....

One final point: you’ve described the atheist’s hope. How firm is that hope? How well-founded is it? .... What if you’re wrong? [more]
Reasonable Faith: Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.