While many may wonder how a morally respectable God could allow human beings to get this bad, the more basic question is: Without the context of God as a standard of goodness and humans are morally accountable to him, why think humans really are evil? Aren’t they just abnormal maladjusted, dysfunctional, statistically deviant, or highly individualistic? Therapeutic or psychoanalytic categories are simply insufficient to account for the deep evils that exist. Various Eastern views are similarly inept. For example, Arthur Koestler tells of one Zen Buddhist scholar calling Hitler’s gas chambers “very silly,” claiming that evil is “relative” and merely “a Christian concept.” The very clear existence of evil, we’ve noted, suggests a standard of goodness or design plan: evil is a deviation from or corruption of this standard and a departure from what ought to be. To say that the actions of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, or even the Columbine killers were simply “abnormal” or “maladjusted,” not evil, is not only hollow, but grotesquely distorted.
— Paul Copan, from Loving Wisdom, kindle location 2039
So great is this God that he cannot not exist!
— Paul Copan, from Loving Wisdom, kindle location 452
The Christian faith’s most theologically significant miracle is Jesus’ resurrection—a historically well-supported event. Though history yields only probable—not absolute— knowledge, we don’t have to be mired in historical skepticism. We can still have a good degree of confidence in our historical knowledge as we consider evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. The chief facts surrounding this miracle are: Continue reading
Why didn’t God make us without being capable of sin, always choosing good—just like the final state of the redeemed? If God can guarantee a sin-free existence for believers in the afterlife, why not do so from the start? Continue reading
We’ve all heard the question, “Who are you to impose your morality on others?” Of course, the person raising this question believes it’s morally wrong to impose morality on another! The question presupposes a moral standard. But where did that standard come from?
— Paul Copan, from “How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong”, kindle location 1455
Scripture affirms an integrated, holistic “substance dualism,” despite detractors within the Christian community. This view is theologically significant in that (a) persons are capable of surviving death while retaining personal identity, and (b) the Incarnation is possible: God, who is spirit, becomes man; the person of Jesus isn’t identical to his body.
— Paul Copan, from Loving Wisdom, kindle location 2515
Which outlook or philosophy of life does the best job of dealing with the range of available evidence and human experience? Or, Is my perspective consistent with my life philosophy’s assumptions (e.g., regarding human rights or personal responsibility), or am I borrowing capital from another worldview to keep mine going?
— Paul Copan, from Loving Wisdom, kindle location 123