Does God Interact With the World?

by Matt DeStefano on July 27, 2011

Sorry for the delay in posting, I’ve been under the gun at work, school, and then on top of that had a fantastic bachelor party in Las Vegas. An image that has been making its rounds through the atheist blogosphere as of late caught my attention:

Typically, images like this are used to help illustrate the problem of evil. How could a loving God possibly allow that kind of suffering? While I think the problem of evil is a fantastic argument against a benevolent God, I’m also interested in the other problems that pictures like this illustrate. If believers want to give God credit for changes in their life, if they are going to maintain any semblance of consistency, they must also ascribe the horrible atrocities around the world to God’s hand as well.

While not every Christian believes that God helps Tim Tebow throw touchdown passes or that he helps smiling women find their car keys, most people ascribe various positive events through out their lives as though it was initiated by “God’s hand”, and most of the time they tend to be fairly mundane or trivial things. If this is true, then we ought to ascribe the various evils that befall humanity to God as well.

Take the following claims:

  1. Tim Tebow’s feeling under the weather a few days before a big game against a rival opponent.
  2. Tebow and his family pray for his speedy recovery so that he can play in the big game.
  3. Tebow recovers the day before the game and plays spectacularly.

It’s pretty clear from post-game press conferences that Tebow believes God had an active hand in helping him regain his health, and adamantly thanks God for his ability to perform. So, take this other scenario:

  1. In an especially rural part of Africa, a family is in danger of starvation from lack of supplies.
  2. A small African child prays to God for sustenance to last him through the week.
  3. The child dies four days later from starvation as his village is cut off from supplies.
Why should the first be an example of God’s goodness, while the second is merely a product of human sinfulness ? I don’t see how you can have it both ways.


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