Sam Harris:

Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes, or He doesn’t care to, or He doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.

Or maybe there’s a fourth option, Mr. Harris.

Maybe God is neither impotent, nor evil, nor non-existant. Maybe He is, in fact, GOD: wholly sovereign, wholly wise, wholly good. Not subject to your whims and wishes. Not dangling on a string from your finger. Not concerned with what you think is “fair” or “unfair,” “right” or “wrong.”

Maybe He is, in fact, working all things (yes, Mr. Harris, even catastrophes) for His glory. Maybe He moves as He pleases and does what He pleases because He is the infallible architect of a Greater Good which you, in all your fallible human wisdom, cannot see or understand.

Maybe. Just maybe. And if so…

Who are you, Sam Harris, to reply against God? Who are…

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

12 thoughts on “”

  1. I checked out the article and found it to be overly simplistic. He didn’t answer Harris’s point, in my opinion. If his only defense is to say “you can’t question God,” then that’s really no defense at all.

    Why don’t you believe in Zeus? You find the idea of him to be a bit ridiculous and contradictory? He’s a god! Who are you to make that judgment!

    1. How’d I know you or Ark would be the first to comment : ) Actually I would accept all three premises (which have been quoted numerous times by atheists):

      1. GOD IS ALL-GOOD.


      3. EVIL/Suffering EXISTS.

      But I wouldn’t stop there and make assumptions, as Harris and others do, and keep the deck seemingly stacked in their favor. For me, it is incomplete unless one would add a fourth premise:


      Now THAT is a good blog post to consider for future purposes, I don’t know if I can unpack that sufficiently for now.

      But for example: I think of the crucifixion of Christ. It was the most EVIL murder in all of history (the murder of the only perfect God/man who ever lived) AND God certainly allowed it. Yet God had a morally sufficient reason for it: Forgiveness and grace to unworthy sinners.

      I may tackle it more thoroughly in the future. Peace and grace.

      1. I look forward to your more thorough tackling. 🙂 Because the original article just doesn’t do the issue justice.

        I find your 4th option plausible, but I’m not completely sold yet. So if you do decide to dig into this further, I’ll be sure to check it out.

  2. “GOD HAS A MORALLY SUFFICIENT REASON FOR THE EVIL WHICH EXISTS.” Maybe a reason. I think atheists are questioning the morality of the reasoning and see a God {a father if they tackle the Christian view} who seems, to them, to sit idly by while his children get hurt and hurt each other.

    An ethical reason could be that we as children have to learn to stand on our own feet and learn, by our mistakes, to interact with each other and the world. If we choose to build our homes on and in some of the more naturally dangerous places on earth, for whatever reason, we have to learn about natural events and the nest housing structures to erect. Christians are called to look out for and after their brothers and sisters. If as a body they to help those who cannot afford to have the right type of housing in a set area then we can not blame God. They have an obligation to help. Nature is both violent and sustaining. It has to be both for the earth to be as it was, is, and will be. If one asks why all countries are not like California or part of the South Coast of Spain, then one can say what makes those areas is dependent on other areas of conflicting natural elements. We have yet to master the weather conditions to be beneficial to all mankind. Though an experiment in Saudi Arabia [I think] seems to be trying to build a town that adapts to and harnesses what nature has on offer. Again it is selfishness for power, money and pure greed, not God, that stops such things from becoming world wide.

    Thats just my very quick take on the issue.

  3. Thank goodness for this post. Having just watched a heavy movie I really appreciated this hilarious piece.
    The absolute codswallop people will right to justofy a belief based on nothing but thin air.
    Honestly, thank you.
    I can go and make a coffee and chuckle til I go to bed.

    Who says religion doesn;t have a sense of humour?
    I am almost inspired to read the bible again.
    You guys are just so funny!
    The Ark:)


    God allowed His own Son to die to pay for our sins. So it only stands to reason that we as the people He created are not going to be without suffering. It’s ludicrous to think that everything is going to be great and good in the world, when we are sinful.

    I’ve heard the tired old argument about God allowing suffering, so that makes Him bad, or not real…if He was real, He would stop these bad things from happening. Wrong answer.

    The ruler of this world is Satan, not God…that would be because God allows him to rule. This happened in the first place because of Adam and Eves own actions in sinning against God because Eve listened to the enemy. Sin entered the world and took root because of human actions.

    God allows bad things to happen, He does not cause them to happen, there is a difference.

    If the Son of God came to this earth and died for our sins, (and He did) how can we expect that we shall not also suffer?

    Sometimes bad things happen for a reason. I have had a lot, as in many, many bad things happen to me. After things had become so bad that I was not sure life was worth living at all anymore…I woke up and smelled the coffee. I met God…or should I say He met me. Life began to get better. Think what you want…I was a drunk among other things…that stopped instantly in one day, courtesy of God.

    Yes God allows some pretty bad things to happen, and no I don’t have all the answers to that.
    I’m still going to point back to what Christ did on the cross. Keep in mind that when God made the rule, that one sin means death, He also knew that He would have to pay that penalty Himself. Jesus came to earth and died on the cross to pay my penalty for sinning. The Father turned away from the Son and let it happen. That is how much He loves me…which I of course do not deserve.

    Atheists also like to talk about how God condemns people to death for not following His rules. Not true. First off…lets remember Who paid the price for those sins, not us the sinners, but a Holy and perfect God. We the people condemn ourselves to death. God has offered a way out of this death sentence, believe in Jesus and what He did on the cross, and you will not die…Christ did that for you already. If you choose not accept this offer of clemency from God…that is your fault, not Gods.

    Don’t believe all that? Ask yourself a question then…why did 11 of the twelve apostles die awful and painful deaths? Because they believed in Christ and His power to save us, you don’t die for something you don’t believe in. There are more martyrs today for Christ then there were then…why is that? Would anyone die for something that is a fairy tale? I think not.

    Thanks Bryan for posting this, I promise not to take over your blog. 🙂

    Comment away Ark…could you be decent about it though? 🙂 I don’t mind your thoughts, but there is no reason we can’t all be decent about it.
    Smile…God loves you….

    1. Decent? You mean the type of decency you find in Yaweh?
      “Okay kiddies, time to flood the world…”
      “Okay, Joshua, now that Mo is dead it’s up to you my mate. Now, off you go into Canaan and liquidate everything that breaths.”
      Yeah, we can all dig THIS morality, no s***.
      This is decency with a capital D.

      The point you must try to understand…I realise christians struggle with this concept; but when atheists refer to god, firstly, we aren’t being serious because we don’t believe in gods, yours or anyone else’s. So all we are doing is really nailing you for insisting in the reality of this nonsense and justifing all manner of things because of a god.
      We object to the proselytizing. We object to the nonsene spewed by CMI.
      I am offended by the fact that you lot can’t even agree amongst yourselves about what is the right way to worship, even though christians have on numerous occasions tried to exterminate other christians to establish their own brand of democratic theocracy (where’s my barf bag?) And your cults currently exceed 35,000. Your god, this is amost incredulous.
      Nate is the diplomat, I could care less about hurting the feelings of a religion that has
      done little but bring lies, missunderstanding and misery to countless millions.
      Feel affronted. I have written nothing but fact.-, and you can’t produce one factual iota to refute it.

      1. Yes you are correct Ark. Unfortunately Christians have done a lot of damage to themselves. This is very unfortunate. Christians I would say are just as human as the rest of the people, and make some very stupid decisions just like other people.

        Christians if they are at all honest, also are no better then anyone else. I know people who don’t believe in God and I see them as better people then I am.

        God at times seems a little harsh to me as well. I don’t have all the answers. I have to trust in a God that has saved me, and made me.

        I’m not religious, I’m a believer. The Pharisees were religious.

        People who exterminate others are not following God, they are following their IDEA of a god.

        Cults are not actually following God either, again they are following an idea, often made up out of thin air.

        Have a great weekend Ark. 🙂

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