How to Deal with Disagreeable Aspects of Christianity
Q & A With William Lane Craig
Greetings Dr. Craig,
I have a bit of an unusual dilemma. I’m not at all opposed to the idea of God, nor His intense and challenging construct for the salvation of mankind. I don’t even balk at His insistence of worship! The unusual bit is that, unlike so many agnostics and unbelievers, I’m not hateful toward God for His dealings with, for example, the Amalekites, nor the practice of circumcision, nor many other “stumbling blocks.” I just don’t understand how I can subscribe to the idea of committing myself to Someone who would dictate such disagreeable (to my sensibility, anyway) things without feeling some sort of intellectual suicide on my part. How can I rectify these feelings?
I also want to say that I appreciate your masterful skills of debate and logic. You always comport yourself with graciousness and respectfulness even in the face of unwarranted attacks and insults. Thank you.
Thanks for your encouraging words, Steve! There are certainly aspects of Christianity that people will find disagreeable to one extent or another. I take it that what you consider unusual about your case is that these disagreeable features of Christianity do not elicit in you an emotional reaction, as is the case with so many other unbelievers, but are simply a source of intellectual puzzlement which is an obstacle to Christian commitment. So how can one deal with these disagreeabilities?
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The very first thing to do is to put them in perspective. I find that people who are struggling with some issue tend to become myopic. All they see is the particular question or problem that they are struggling with. They fail to step back and see the big picture. Like a person holding his thumb in front of his face and seeing it as larger than the Empire State Building, so they are so focused on their particular issue that it looms larger than anything else in the background. This is obviously a mistake. Our goal should not be to find a worldview with no difficulties but rather the worldview with the least difficulties. The unresolved difficulties must be seen in proper proportion within the evidentiary context of the general worldview.
So I would encourage you to review the arguments and evidence in favor of Christian theism. Look at those eight arguments that I presented in my opening speech of my debate with Alex Rosenberg (and throw in the ontological argument for good measure). Weigh those along with the problems attending metaphysical naturalism which I mentioned in my second speech. I think they give us very good grounds for thinking that Christian theism is true…
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