Friday, April 10, 2009

Steve responds to my paradox

Steve responds to my paradox in the direction I thought the reply would have to go. God, with providential control over the circumstances, can and does see to it that his message is delivered inerrantly. avoiding the necessity of false speaking of any kind. He maintains that God could avoid all situations that would require lying for beneficent purposes. But would a world in which God never utters a false statement be a better world than any world in which He does utter at least one false statement. That's not perfectly transparent to me. Intuitively...., oops, I can't trust those.

Of course the Titus 1:2 in the NIV, whereas in the KJV it says God cannot lie. But this does seem to leave the inerrantist with having to defend perfect divine veracity. But the first reading makes it easier, one can accept my argument that there are possibile circumstances in which God ought to lie, but he never in fact gets into them. And I guess if you accept Steve's view of God's complete providential control, that would be easy to see. Nevertheless, you would think that with that kind of providential control that God could.... oh never mind. God reprobates people but he always tells the truth.

There are the wide range of difficulties, however, in God's getting his message across to prescientific peoples, so that it isn't always perfectly obvious to figure out what would constitute an errantist interpretation and what would not. Inerrantists like Bill Craig oppose lead-footed literalism on Genesis 1, for example.

There can be certainly a subset of divine utterances that God seals with a covenantal promise, where God in effect says "God strike me dead if I'm lying," which of course is pretty effective coming from, well, God. I think that's what the Hebrews 6:18 passage is all about. But I don't think you can argue that inerrancy is backed up by that sort of thing.


James Vandenberg said...

I don't see the difficulty in "God's getting his message across to prescientific peoples." For one thing, nobody believes the Bible is a textbook of science. Second, prescientific people were able to get messages across to each other, even in ways that make sense to us. Also, in many ways, even Darwin would be a prescientific writer by today's standard, having lived before nuclear power, the Internet and Tickle-Me-Elmo.

Victor Reppert said...

The Answers in Genesis people think that the Bible conveys accurate scientific information, including a recent date for the age of the universe, which can be defended on biblical grounds. There are people still fighting these "science wars."

Ilíon said...

How, exactly, would would it work out logically that God *could* speak falsely?

Are you all forgetting that God isn't Zeus?

God (eternally) upholds the existence of all things ... by the power of his word.