The concept of God in Christianity is deficient

Dr. William Lane Craig: The biblical concept of god is morally deficient

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons), MCollT

In the Craig’s List (William Lane Craig) of absurdities, one that really stands out is his argument against the Islamic concept of God. He argues that “Islam has a morally deficient concept of God” [1] because whereas the Bible portrays God as absolutely all-Loving, the Qur’an depicts Him as One that shows partial love, i.e., He only loves the good and hates the sinner. To Craig, this is an unacceptable concept of God and such a god cannot possibly exist.

A common argument that Christian evangelists put forward is that God does not hate the sinner but the sin to which Dr. Shabir Ally retorts, “But God throws the sinner into hell and not just the sin.” If He only hates the sin and not the sinner, then why would He put the sinner in hell for all of eternity and not just the sin? In this simple rhetorical question, one sees that true deficiency lies within the Christian concept of deity and not with the Islamic. The biblical and Christian God is not impartial in His love for His creation. His love is very much conditional. In layman’s terms, God does not love the sinful person insofar that he languishes and continues in his sins. For that very reason, John 3:16 shows us that God’s love is conditional upon “believing” in His son that He has sent. One of the verses that Craig uses in his article to show that God is truly all loving is 1 John 4:8-10:

God is love, . . . In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the sacrifice for our sins (I John 4.8, 10).

Notice that the verse does not say that God actually loves everyone and everybody unconditionally but that His love is only for those of them, i.e., “us”, that have believed. And so from this, it is only natural that Christians do not believe that Satan and his demons are loved by God. There are dozens upon dozens of verses in the Bible that clearly show God’s hatred for not only the sin but also the one that acts upon it, the sinner. But one does not need to list down all of those verses to refute Craig’s absurdity. One verse would be sufficient to demolish the entire premise. Christian pastor at the Reformed Bible Church in Southern California, Alfred J. Chompff writes:

“God certainly hates the sinner as well as the sin, for God says in Psalm 5:5, “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”” [2]

Not only does the biblical God hate doers of iniquity, but He hates them with a passion:

“The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.” [Psalm 11:5, NIV)

Professor of Hebrew Bible at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio, and cochair of the SBL Pentateuch Group, Dr. Thomas Dozeman writes:

“God also hates in the Hebrew Bible, indicating both hostile passion and separation from certain acts of worship and unethical behavior. God hates abhorrent things: child sacrifice (Deut 12:31), stone pillars (Deut 16:22), violence (Ps 11:5), and evildoers (Ps 5:5). The psalmist often identifies with God by hating the same forms of worship or evil persons (Pss 101:3; 139:22).” [3]

The biblical God most certainly hates both sin and sinner and according to Craig’s yardstick, He becomes unworthy of recognition by believing men and women. Through Craig’s ill-informed attack of the Islamic concept of God, he has inadvertently disqualified his own deity.

Notes:

[1] Craig, W. L. (n.d.). Concept of God in Islam and Christianity. Retrieved from http://www.reasonablefaith.org/concept-of-god-in-islam-and-…

[2] Chompff, A. J. (2013). The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Volume 2). Bloomington, Indiana: WestBow Press. p. 131

[3] Dozeman, T. B. (2003). Hate. In Donald E. Gowan (ed.), The Westminster Theological Wordbook of the Bible. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 192

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