A review of evangelical apologist Randal Rauser’s Conversations With My Inner Atheist, Part 1:
A question from Rauser’s inner atheist (his doubts): If the Gospel is so simple, why doesn’t the Bible simply present it?
I agree that if the sole purpose of the Bible is to serve as emergency instructions to evacuate planet earth with maximum clarity and efficiency then it fails in its purpose. But I think that’s an excellent reason to reject the assumption that that is the Bible’s purpose. And given that I believe God surely desires to save the maximum number of people possible, then the Bible does not fail in achieving the end for which God has purposed it.
…The Bible is a complex library of texts written in three ancient languages—Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek—and in cultural contexts foreign to the contemporary reader. They show theological diversity and development. They are written in a multiplicity of genres and make copious literary and historical references unfamiliar to the reader today. But presumably that’s what God wanted. He didn’t want a simple map. He wanted to give us this delightfully complex book.
—Randal Rauser, progressive evangelical apologist, Baptist theologian, and seminary professor in his book Conversations With My Inner Atheist, pp. 22-24
Gary: “But presumably that’s what God wanted.”
“Presumably” is the key word in that statement, Randal! How do you know what the Creator God wants? The Bible? The very book whose credibility is in question? Isn’t that circular reasoning?
Dear Dr. Rauser, why not consider the possibility that the reason why there is no consistent, simple “plan of salvation” in the Bible is that it is a book written by many different human beings, with many different assumptions about what happens in the afterlife, and with many different assumptions about what one must do to prevent experiencing a “bad afterlife”? A god had nothing to do with this book! Doesn’t that seem like a much more plausible explanation for the chaotic message of this collection of ancient texts?
Read part 2 here.
End of post.