2013-11-25

"It Doesn't Make Sense, But It's The Truth"

Robert Murphy posts theistic musings on most Sunday's. It's an interesting feature that you won't find on other economics blogs. As one might expect, I seldom agree with what he writes on Sundays, but I also seldom feel moved to comment on it. Religion is mostly a private matter.

But sometimes I just can't help myself, and yesterday's post at Free Advice is one such time. Here's Murphy:
My pastor at church today said as much (though I don’t know if he’d endorse the way I phrased it above) when he said something like (I’m paraphrasing slightly): 
“It’s not that God made creation, it was good, then there was the Fall, and He had to turn to Plan B. No, He’s God, He never lost control for a moment. God made all of creation, and that was good and illustrated His glory, but only through the Fall, Redemption of Christ, and the coming re-creation when Christ returns, will God fully demonstrate His glory. The re-creation will be more glorious than the initial creation.” 
Then he went on to say (I really like this guy, by the way) that he doesn’t understand how that can be, and it doesn’t make sense, but: “It’s the truth.”
Most of the people leaving comments on Murphy's blog jumped at that last part. Indeed, it's problematic that the pastor accepts something as truth without being able to make sense of it, but he's not the first person to do that, and no one gets into religion due to a passionate commitment to rationality.

Leaving that point aside, though, the pastor's description of god's will makes me chuckle a little. The way he tells it makes it sound like all this colossal suffering in the world is part of a great, cosmic wind-up and god is about to knock it out of the park. Sort of like god is setting himself up for the ultimate comeback. "Ha! Ha! You thought I was cruel and imperfect, but that's just because you haven't seen the Second Coming!" It's God Part II: The Revenge.

Let me put it in as humorous a way as I know how: Remember how Guns 'N Roses had been working on Chinese Democracy for like 20 years? The longer this went on, the more storied the album became, like it was going to be the greatest rock album ever recorded. Those who caught snippets of it went on record insisting that it was every bit as revolutionary as it was purported to be. But then the album eventually came out a couple of years ago, and it was not awful, but nothing like it was made out to be.

Granted, I'd hope the Almighty is capable of a follow-up better than Chinese Democracy, but considering all the human suffering that has occurred over the last two thousand years, god sure does have a lot of 'splainin' to do.