A review of evangelical apologist Randal Rauser’s Conversations With My Inner Atheist, Part 3:
“Mia” (Randal Rauser’s nickname for his doubts): The Bible has a long history of linking natural disasters with divine judgment. And with no clear biblical evidence that God has declared a moratorium on the practice, the question must be asked: does God still punish people through natural disasters today like he did in the good ole Bible days?
Randal Rauser: My short answer is ‘no’. …I believe God—a being who is indeed all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good—would employ modes of punishment that discriminate the guilty from the innocent while restricting punishment to the former. An ethical punishment is, by definition, one that discriminates the guilty from the innocent. …It also seems to me that a punishment must be proportional. Here the idea is that God would adjust the intensity of punishment relative to the culpability of the individuals being punished.
…Personally, I don’t think original sin includes the imputation of Adam’s guilt and so, for that reason, I don’t think that everyone is automatically guilty and so properly subject to whatever horrors might befall them. I think we are all predisposed to sin but that each of us actualizes our own specific sins and it is for our own specific sins that each of us is culpable.
…What I’m saying is that whether or not there was an historical Adam, what the story of the fall conveys, in my opinion, is the universal brokenness of all humanity and our collective need for redemption. We are not born with the guilt of another person credited to us, but we are born with an inevitable predisposition to sin which will inevitably become a reality as we develop into moral agents.
–excerpts from chapter 10
Gary: Wow! What an improvement over the ole Original Sin doctrine! I’m no longer responsible for my Grandpa Adam’s sin of eating forbidden fruit, I’m only responsible for the sins which God pre-programmed me to commit! Whew! I feel soooo much better. So that is why God sent his son Jesus to earth: to redeem me from my pre-programmed sins! The Christian god is soooo good!
You can read part 4 here.
End of post.