Skip to main content

Can you show me how God is Love without using scripture?

By John Draper ~

Believers seem awfully sure God is Love. How do they know that? They cite a lot of Bible verses. They say God is like the father in the story of the prodigal son, for example, who runs out to embrace his wayward and foolish son.

But can they build a case for “God is Love” without using a single Bible verse? All they have to go on is “general revelation,” that is, the universe, nature—the place that’s full of diseases and injustices, the place where, thanks to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, everything continually trends toward entropy and, of consequence, we all grow more unsightly with each passing year.

Does general revelation paint a picture of a God who thinks of us as His treasured possession?

If you’re honest, you have to say it’s a mixed bag. There are beautiful sunrises—but sunshine is carcinogenic. Yes, there are plenty of delicious fruits to pick from the limb and push into your pie hole. And, yes, sex, is fun. But, then again, there are all those tsunamis.

That is, the case made by general revelation that God is Unconcerned With You is at least as strong as the case for God is Love.

In fact, I would say, the case that God is Unconcerned is far stronger. Just look at your day to day life. Look at reality. Don’t cite a single Bible verse. Reality’s full of all sorts of godawful things. Good people die unjustly in terrible pain. Believers are no happier or successful than non-believers. God is uninvolved in any day-to-day sense that really matters. He certainly doesn’t talk to us. In fact, that’s the very reason we have to have scriptures. Think about it. If God actually spoke to us, why would we need the Bible? (See “Does God speak through scripture?”)

And it’s only when believers pull out scripture that they can really build a case for God is Love.

We never would have deduced that the God of the universe cherishes us if scripture didn’t tell us so. The universe we live in is a rough and tumble place. God doesn’t interact with us. Only people interact with us. God does nothing—as least as far as we can tell from looking around us—and love is action, isn’t it? Only people can talk to us, hold us, cry with us, loan us money on easy terms—only people love us.

“Ah ha,” the believer says. “I got you! God did act—on Calvary!” Remember, though, we’re building a case for God is Love apart from special revelation. The only reason we know about Calvary is special revelation—scripture. And let’s be honest—scripture isn’t God saying he loves us. Scripture is humans saying God loves us—wishful thinking. For example, all Paul’s letters are written in the first person. Paul didn’t think he was speaking as God. It was the church that put Paul’s words into God’s mouth after it became painfully clear God wasn’t going to make His opinion known.

I don’t know what God thinks of us. Nobody does. I can only go on the data I have—which is the universe.You say God love us—and I say, so what? It doesn’t mean a damn thing because that love is never put into action. God doesn’t run out to meet us when we return from sowing our wild oats and spending our inheritance. Our flesh-and-blood father does that, if we’re lucky.

I’m not saying God doesn’t love us. I don’t know what God thinks of us. Nobody does. I can only go on the data I have—which is the universe.

As far as we can tell, God is unconcerned. He’s “hands off.”

Could it be that, maybe, He’s not even a person?

John Draper is the author of the novel A Danger to God Himself


Popular posts from this blog

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not

On Living Virtuously

By Webmdave ~  A s a Christian, living virtuously meant living in a manner that pleased God. Pleasing god (or living virtuously) was explained as: Praying for forgiveness for sins  Accepting Christ as Savior  Frequently reading the Bible  Memorizing Bible verses Being baptized (subject to church rules)  Attending church services  Partaking of the Lord’s Supper  Tithing  Resisting temptations to lie, steal, smoke, drink, party, have lustful thoughts, have sex (outside of marriage) masturbate, etc.  Boldly sharing the Gospel of Salvation with unbelievers The list of virtuous values and expectations grew over time. Once the initial foundational values were safely under the belt, “more virtues'' were introduced. Newer introductions included (among others) harsh condemnation of “worldly” music, homosexuality and abortion Eventually the list of values grew ponderous, and these ideals were not just personal for us Christians. These virtues were used to condemn and disrespect fro