Is God's love conditional?

Monday Musings for January 16, 2017

Good morning, Musers,

Do you know what the world needs? It needs another palatable God — that’s what it needs!... although it seems to me as if we’ve had enough of those over the millennia. But isn’t that the dream? To have a real powerful God… but one at your beck and call — one who will jump through the godly hoops of your mind?

A real God like that just doesn’t exist… and as a question responder, I have to deal with the disappointments when the biblically revealed God does not line-up with the demi-gods of the mind. You see, religious consumers-at-large don’t want the bible’s God — they want is a pet-god… or even a powerful-scary-god like those from mythology. At least those are understandable — like humans-on-steroids. But the truth is that we kind of “get” those gods because we kind of “are” those gods… and this explains a lot.

But here’s the problem with those sorts of gods — and it’s one that’s also causing philosophical disquiet in the scientific community: the universe itself is not eternal; therefore, only a transcendent being could have “caused” it… and no demi-god need apply.

The fact that scientific consensus has turned away from the eternal-universe paradigm is a big big deal. Speaking philosophically, since any purported gods would be “of” the universe, they could not cause the universe. (Anything which is “of” something cannot also be its cause.) In an eternal universe, these gods would at least be congruent. But now they are dead in the philosophical water. But popular science has the same problem; it has long been committed to a philosophical — and not the scientific — position concerning the nature of existence that “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” (Carl Sagan, Cosmos, 1980).

But even back in 1980, we knew that the universe was expanding — and that it was more empirically sound to postulate that the universe began. But a thing which begins must have an adequate cause — and you can see where this might cause them some philosophical disquiet. But now they’re stuck; The scientific community knows they were wrong about the universe not having a beginning… but are you hearing anything like a “whoops!”… other than the floating-out of desperate creation-escape plans, like parallel universes? I call upon all people to stop swallowing and to do your own thinking. Parallel universes… really?... that’s what they’ve got? The “scientific” community would not offer you something that embarrassing unless they were otherwise “stuck” with a Creator… which is right where they are.

Where does this new scientific consensus leave the believer? In Congruency City. First of all, an omnipresent God will also exist continually within his creation — but he is not part of it or subject to it in any way. But he sent his Son to do just that — and Jesus was as earth-bound as we are! He became one of us so that he could save us. Now, I understand that atheists give no authority to the Bible — and I’m not looking for that here. But I do here claim that its story is logical, plausible and congruent… but there’s more: given what we currently know about the universe and about what the Bible teaches, a Christian worldview makes the best sense of all the data.

I pride myself on having an open mind — open enough to consider the notion that God might not really exist… daily and with parity. But materialist atheists enter into their investigations with a God-doesn’t-exist mindset… which is not in itself a problem. (Holding and defending a position is good philosophical practice.) But not responding adequately to the newest data is intellectually dishonest.

There are thousands of scientists who are also Christians who have no congruency problems with their faith… and why should they? The data speaks to a Creator. But these scientists don’t get the same air time as do Neil deGrasse Tyson and his ilk who are still spinning dated tales, dragging their feet and diverting honest inquiry. The scientific consensus has turned — and popular science is stalling.

As to today’s question, it is one thing to defend a well-considered position — even if it contributes to damnation’s headcount — but it is another thing to prejudice the process. I must remind all my readers that on judgment day there will be more books considered than just the Book of Life. What else might be judged?

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (Revelation 20:12, NIV, emphasis mine)

(Click here to read the article referenced above. For comments, or to join the Monday Musings mailing list, contact us at To submit a question about God, the Bible or the Christian culture, click here.)