Then Loftus quotes Ingersoll:
Robert G. Ingersoll said:
Every [Christian] sect is a certificate that God has not plainly revealed His will to man. To each reader the Bible conveys a different meaning. About the meaning of this book, called a revelation, there have been ages of war and centuries of sword and flame. If written by an infinite God, He must have known that these results must follow; and thus knowing, He must be responsible for all.And for good measure, Loftus call on Neitzsche:
Friedrich Nietzsche said:
A god who is all-knowing and all-powerful and who does not even make sure his creatures understand his intention—could that be a god of goodness? Who allows countless doubts and dubieties to persist, for thousands of years, as though the salvation of mankind were unaffected by them, and who on the other hand holds out the prospect of frightful consequences if any mistake is made as to the nature of truth? . . . Did he perhaps lack intelligence to do so? Or the eloquence? Must he not then . . . be able to help and counsel [his creatures], except in the manner of a deaf man making all kinds of ambiguous signs when the most fearful danger is about to befall on his child or dog?Loftus concludes:
Should't this be good enough?Isn't it self-evident that it isn't enough? When did Neitzsche issue his comments? Its been quite some time and Christianity as well as a million other religions are still here, undaunted by his profound wisdom and keen intellect. I wonder why that is.
However if I can communicate my wishes to you in plain language so that you can carry out my wishes, and I do so, that would theoretically get me off the hook. More than that, even if I communicate my wishes to you in language that is rather difficult at times to understand, so long as you had the wherewithal to grasp my wishes, that would still get me off the hook. This is true even if you had to go to great lengths to understand my will. In both cases, not only would I not be partially to blame, I would not be blameworthy at all for others misunderstanding my will.
What is necessary for me to be blameworthy for others misunderstanding my will is for me to communicate it in such a way that they are not able to understand it. Then perhaps, one can say that I am to blame, in some way, for others not being able to understand my will. However, does this get us off the hook of responsibility? Not so much. If you travel to another state or country, how much time do you spend reading and understanding their particular laws? Do you think you could understand them even if you did read them? Do you think that breaking them would be permissible so long as you told the presiding authority that they were partially to blame because you did not understand this act was illegal within that particular jurisdiction.
How to answer the argument? The one thing I shall not do is take up the unbelieving presuppositions of John Loftus as many other apologists do. I am a believer and yes, I have an axe to grind and I intend to grind it. Within the framework of my worldview as a Christian, I begin and end with God. I cannot abandon and I will not abandon my epistemic method because it is informed by the Christian ethic. If I abandon my Christian epistemology in an attempt to take up unbelieving methods, what am I proving? Unbelieving methods always lead to the rejection of God because unbelievers have an axe to grind as well. They lie to us when they tell us they are just searching for objective truth here. Sure you are! That is why they spend so much time and money trying to disprove God in every way imaginable.
God created man with the ability to choose disobedience over obedience. Adam chose to disobey. In Adam, we all sin. Adam was as perfect a human as ever lived. If he ate of the tree, who are we to say we would not have. Arrogance! We all have the morality of conscience and we have all sinned in one way or another. We have lied, stolen, sworn, lusted, blasphemed, etc. No one has ever not sinned other than Christ. We are all guilty. No one ever sinned against their will. As punishment for that sin, our ability to understand God's perceptive will has been dramatically impaired. The curse of sin has caused a great breach in our ability to rightly perceive and understand God's will. This curse was delivered to us by God Himself as punishment for Adam's sin. The only hope we have of understanding God's perceptive will now is for God's gracious work to move upon our intellect in a supernatural work called 'regeneration.' And even with that work in the human person, sin still presents unique challenges for even the Christian to fully grasp God's will. Notice I said challenges, not impossibilities.
We do not have a frustrated Deity. Let us not mistake a lack of revelation and information for paradox or tension. The tension is located in our own sinful desires to know what God has wisely determined we cannot know. That is, after all, within His right!
Remember: People LIVE what they believe; EVERYTHING else is just NOISE