Thursday, July 14, 2011

On Apologizing for God

The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether [יַחְדָּֽו; lit., "at the same time"] (Ps 19:9).

Related to the inerrancy of God, there is wise correction from pastor Kevin DeYoung in "Is it Okay for Christians to Believe in the Doctrine of Hell But Not Like It?" DeYoung narrows on the recurring issue of whether Christians may dislike what they believe the Bible teaches - especially in relation to hell.
To admit that God says hard things is admirable honesty. But to profess our dislike for what he does or wish that he were a different kind of God who did things in a different way–even if we come around to accept these ways in the end–is not the right kind of humility. It’s one thing to say to unbelievers and skeptics, “I struggled with the same questions you’re asking.” It’s another to throw God under the bus, admitting “I don’t like hell anymore than you do. I’d take it out of the Bible if I could. But it’s in there, so I can’t deny it.”

God is good and his ways are always right. It is a measure of our maturity that we not only affirm the truth of God’s word but rest in the goodness and rightness of it. Christians should have anguish in heart at the thought of eternal suffering, but we should also see the glory of God in the Bible’s teaching on eternal punishment.
Read DeYoung's entire post here.

Unfortunately, on more than one occasion I have heard an otherwise faithful pastor say just what DeYoung hypothesized, "I'd take _______ out of the Bible if I could." I'm sure they do not understand the blasphemy of such a statement - implying they are wiser than the Author of the Bible.

A refresher from Theology 101 - neither you nor I are wiser than God. Admit challenges in understanding. Struggle with difficulties. Pray for spiritual illumination. Seek help from pastors and teachers. But never, ever, ever apologize or wish away any portion of Scripture. All of His Word is completely righteous... every jot and tittle.

1 comment:

  1. When I share the Gospel, I need to leave out "I don't like ____ either!" in an effort to empathize or 'connect' with the unbeliever... didn't know I was offending God while trying to proclaim Him (wow). And for myself, I will take RC Sproul's advice in your recent post: Study, Repent, Delight. Very helpful posts...