RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! (PART 6 Professor Alan Macfarlane, Anthropologist and Historian, Cambridge and the issue of HELL)

Alan MacFarlane

Alan MacFarlane

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Alan Macfarlane’s film series which includes lengthy interviews with many leading British academics is well worth watching and I have used them over and over.on this blog. Here is the one below featuring Dr. Macfarlane himself:

Interview with Alan Macfarlane in February 2014

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

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There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Alan Macfarlane is found in the 40th video clip in the first video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-),  and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

What did Alan Macfarlane say in this film series that Harry Kroto wanted me to watch? 

“So I’d been to boys boarding schools and camps with Christians… fairly evangelical Christians, but I began to question this and wonder whether God really intended to cast three quarters of human kind into utter darkness because they had never heard of him and none of the Christians I talked to could quite explain what his intention was in creating such a situation.
So I lost my formal faith, but in anthropology I found an alternative which explains much of what goes on in the world without having to induce God.”
Alan Macfarlane (renowned anthropologist, historian and author or editor of 20 books and numerous articles on the anthropology and history of England, Nepal, Japan and China)

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Many people have left the Christian worldview because they did not understand why God had created a place called HELL. My simple question to them would be:

“Where would you put Hitler?”

On the popular show MODERN FAMILY Jay has a talk with his grandson Manny:

Manny: So you are not worried about getting in trouble you know with God ?
Jay:oh I think He has bigger things on his plate
Manny: so you are not worried about hell?
Jay : let me let you in on a little secret kid, there is no hell
Manny: seriously no hell!!! That is fantastic!!so everyone goes to heaven?
Jay: yep!! End of story!!
Manny: even bad people?
Jay: yeah they are in another section.
Manny: I was thinking about this heaven of yours that is filled with bad people.
Jay: it is not full, it is the tiniest fraction and they are walled in.
Manny: what if they break out?
Jay: they are surrounded by a lake of fire.
Manny: there are fiery lakes in heaven?  This is turning into hell!!!——–

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Again I come back to the question, “Where would you put Hitler?”

My favorite rock group is COLDPLAY and the lead singer Chris Martin left his Christian background because of the teaching of HELL.

Here is an article I wrote a couple of years ago about Chris Martin’s view of hell. He says he does not believe in it but for some reason he writes a song that teaches that it exists:
Belief of Eternal Punishment in Grammy Winning Song
By Everette Hatcher
Chris Martin of the rock group Coldplay wrote the song Viva La Vida, and the song just won both the grammy for the “Song of the Year” and “Best Pop Performance by a duo or Group with Vocals.”
In this song, Martin is discussing an evil king that has been disposed. “I used to rule the world…Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes…there was never an honest word and that was when I ruled the world, It was the wicked and wild wind, Blew down the doors to let me in, Shattered windows and the sound of drums, People couldn’t believe what I’d become…For some reason I can’t explain, I know Saint Peter won’t call my name,  Never an honest word, But that was when I ruled the world.”
Q Magazine asked Chris Martin about the lyric in this song “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” Martin replied, “It’s about…You’re not on the list. I was a naughty boy. Its always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it…That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation. I know about this stuff because I studied it. I was into it all. I know it. It’s mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”
I have been following the career of Chris Martin for the last decade. He grew up in a Christian home that believed in Heaven and Hell, but he made it clear several years ago that he actually resents those who hold to those same religious dogmatic views he did as a youth. Yet it seems his view on the possibility of an afterlife has changed again.
Chris Martin is a big Woody Allen movie fan like I am and no other movie better demonstrates the need for an afterlife than Allen’s 1989 film  Crimes and Misdemeanors.  It is  about a eye doctor who hires a killer to murder his mistress because she continually threatens to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. Afterward he is haunted by guilt. His Jewish father had taught him that God sees all and will surely punish the evildoer.

But the doctor’s crime is never discovered. Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his father had with Judah’s unbelieving Aunt May during a Jewish Sedar dinner  many years ago:

“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazi’s, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says Aunt May.

Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”

Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”

Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”

Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”

Judah’s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”

The basic question Woody Allen is presenting to his own agnostic humanistic worldview is: If you really believe there is no God there to punish you in an afterlife, then why not murder if you can get away with it?  The secular humanist worldview that modern man has adopted does not work in the real world that God has created. God “has planted eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is a direct result of our God-given conscience. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 1:19, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God  has shown it to them” (Amplified Version).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” The Humanist, May/June 1997, pp.38-39). Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-givne conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism. Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (The Humanist, September/October 1997, p. 2.). Humanists don’t really have an intellectual basis for saying that Hitler was wrong, but their God-given conscience tells them that they are wrong on this issue.

Evidently  Chris Martin who said he resented dogmatic religious views a few years ago, has now written a grammy winning song that pictures an evil king being punished in an afterlife. Could it be that his God-given conscience prompted him to put that line in? Or do men like Hitler get off home free as Woody Allen suggested in Crimes and Misdemeanors?

Bob Robinson had some good insights:

7/20/2009

Coldplay’s Viva La Vida – The Will to Power vs. Shalom

A Christian Interacts with Viva La Vida, Or Death and All His FriendsColdplay’s latest hit was one of my top ten albums of 2008. In it, lyricist Chris Martin explores the subject of death from different angles. As I listen to this wonderful album, I wish Chris was sitting next to me. I’d love to understand what he would think of my opining about his lyrics. In future posts, I’m going to do that, with you, here in the vanguard.Viva La Vida In the most famous song from the album, the main character is a man reflecting on lost power and prestige, a king who no longer rules but rather lives a very humble and humiliating life.I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to ownThis king was able somehow to overtake the previous king, but his power was fleeting –One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sandJust as he had taken power, others were seeking to overthrow him –Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?So now, after the “wicked and wild wind” had allowed him to have power, he finds himself no longer “ruling the world.” And he is now wondering about his eternal fate. What will happen to him? In the chorus the king sings –I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
I know St Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Why does he feel that “St. Peter won’t call his name?”Throughout the song, there is a clear indication that the character understands what philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche called “the will to power,” that most of us will often allow our need for achievement to outweigh our desire to be good to our fellow human beings. Our ambition and our striving to reach the highest possible position in life often does incredible damage to the harmony and love that should be the standard for our human existence.The main character understands this. It was not right that he took power; it was also not right that he lost power. It was not right that he once ruled the world; it was also not right that he now sweeps the streets alone. It was not right that there was “never an honest word” while he “ruled the world.” And now, “for some reason,” he knows that St. Peter won’t call his name.This concept of peace and harmony between human beings, where we do not will to have power, but we submit to one another out of love, seeking the very best for others, is an old biblical concept. It was what the Hebrews called “Shalom.”

Nicholas Wolterstorff says that a society characterized by shalom combines peace, justice, and enjoyment of all relationships so that all peoples can flourish in their lives, and that they can also delight in their relationship with God(Wolterstorff, Until Justice and Peace Embrace). Writing on shalom, Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.embraces and expands Wolterstorff’s definition:

“We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight…the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.” (Plantinga, Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: The Breviary of Sin, p. 10)

So what the character in the song Viva La Vida is experiencing is this: the lack of SHALOM. Plantinga has it right: Things are NOT the way they are supposed to beThere is evil where Shalom is supposed to be. I like the way Plantinga describes it:

“We might define evil as any spoiling of shalom, any deviation from the way God wants things to be. Thinking along these lines, we can see that sin is a subset of evil; it’s any evil for which somebody is to blame – sin is culpable evil… Sin grieves God, offends God, betrays God, and not just because God is touchy. God hates sin against himself, against neighbors, against the good creation, because sin breaks the peace… God is for shalom and therefore against sin.” (Plantinga, Engaging God’s World, p. 51)

So why does the character feel that St. Peter won’t call his name? Because he has a deep-seated understanding that his life was full of sin, that he was culpable for his will to power. And, if God is just, there must be consequences to the destruction of shalom.

Fascinating song.

Can The Existence and Nature of Hell Be Defended? (Free Bible Insert)

Can The Existence and Nature of Hell Be Defended (Free Bible Insert)While the Bible clearly describes Hell as a reality, many of our non-believing friends and family members are unsurprisingly repulsed by the idea. Why would God create such a place, and what would ever provoke Him to send people there? As Christians, we know our ultimate authority is God’s Word, so it’s tempting to simply trust what God has revealed without any further philosophical investigation. But we can prepare ourselves for those who reject the authority or teaching of the Bible by examining the evidence from Scripture along with the rational explanations and philosophical foundations supporting the Biblical claims. God has commanded us to be ready to defend the tough truths of the Christian worldview as we share our hope in Jesus:

1 Peter 3:15-16
…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence

So let’s take a look at some common objections to the existence and nature of Hell as we defend the truth of the Christian Worldview.

Objection One
Why Would A Good God Create Hell in the First Place?
The idea anything as vile and repulsive as Hell could come from a good God is a stumbling block for many people. In fact, Christian claims related to Hell are enough for some to reject the Christian God altogether. How could a supposedly good God create such a place?

Mercy Requires Justice
The answer here is directly connected to the nature of God. The Christian God of the Bible is the perfect balance of mercy and justice. The Bible repeatedly describes God with these characteristics:

The Merciful Nature of God
The Bible describes God’s loving, merciful nature. God is loving (1 John 4:8), gracious (Exodus 33:19, 1 Peter 2:1-3), and merciful (Exodus 34:6, James 5:11)

The Just Nature of God
The Bible also describes God’s holy, just nature. God is holy (Psalms 77:130), just (Nehemiah 9:33, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7), hates sin (Psalms 5:5-6), and punishes sinners (Matthew 25:45-46)

The God of the Bible is described as loving, gracious and merciful. At the same time, however, He is described as holy and just; hating sin and punishing sinners. While we might prefer to focus only on the merciful aspects of God’s nature, doing so would completely ignore God’s just nature. Mercy without justice is not mercy. Mercy requires justice to have any meaning, and justice requires mercy to have any power. A loving God (if He is truly loving) would offer love tempered by justice. A loving God would not allow injustice to go unpunished; He would create both a Heaven and a Hell. A loving God offers a path to relationship but the possibility of judgment should we refuse this relationship. One without the other is meaningless:

Objection:
Why Would A Good God Create Hell in the First Place?

Response:
A loving God would not be loving if He did not punish evil. Mercy would have no meaning if it was not applied with justice.

Objection Two
Why Doesn’t a Loving God Make Sure Everyone Goes to Heaven?
The idea everyone is eventually reunited with a loving God in Heaven (regardless of what they believe or how they behave in this life) is called “Universalism”. It is certainly an attractive idea (for obvious reasons), and in a world of increasing relativism, it’s not surprising this kind of objection would be raised. After all, we are living in a culture where people increasingly believe “all paths lead to Heaven”. As Christians, we know this cannot be reconciled with the teaching of the Bible, and there are also good philosophical reasons to reject such an idea:

A Compulsory Heaven Eliminates Free Will
People who want to go to Heaven (in spite of their free will choice to deny the existence of God), are true champions of the concept of free will. After all, they want to express their freedom to deny there is any one exclusive truth about the nature of God (and the nature of Heaven). But these same people fail to realize the concept of Universalism actually denies free will altogether. If Heaven is the only destination waiting for us (based on the assumption everyone eventually ends up there) then Heaven is actually compulsory. In this view of Heaven, we have no choice about where we end up. Everyone is reunited with God. A compulsory Heaven actually denies the existence of free will, the very thing they cherish. By offering (but not forcing) Heaven to those who freely choose to love Him, God is actually honoring and respecting the free will choices of all of us. He is treating us with the utmost respect and dignity.

A Compulsory Heaven Would Include the “Unsuited”
Most of us would agree a holy place of eternal reward is simply not suited for people with a certain kind of character or for people with certain kinds of desires. Now we may not all agree on who should or shouldn’t be included in such a place, but most of us would hesitate while pondering the possibility people like Hitler (or lifelong pedophiles with murderous desires) should be rewarded eternally in Heaven. If there is a Heaven, it is surely unsuited for certain kinds of people.

A loving God would make Heaven possible for all of us while respecting the free will desire of some of us. A loving God would reward those of us who have decided to choose Him while dealing justly with those of us who have decided to choose against Him. This is exactly the kind of God we worship:

Objection:
Why Doesn’t a Loving God Make Sure Everyone Goes to Heaven?

Response:
A loving God honors our free will and our desire to choose Him, while dealing justly with those who have rejected Him.

Objection Three
Why Would A Loving God Punish Finite Sin With Infinite Torture?
For many people, the idea our finite, temporal choices here should merit an eternal punishment of infinite torment in Hell ellHellseems rather inequitable. The punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime. In fact, the punishment seems extraordinarily excessive. Why would God torture eternally those who have sinned temporally? Why would God torture infinitely those who have only sinned finitely?

Torment Is Not Torture
Part of the problem is the way we are using language here. The Bible says those who are delivered into Hell will be tormented, and the degree to which they suffer is described in illustrative language. The torment is compared to an unquenchable fire. But the scripture never describes Hell as a place where God or His angels are actively torturing the souls of the rebellious. It is accurate to describe Hell as a place of separation from God where souls will be in ongoing conscious torment, but Hell is never described as a place of activetorture at the hands of God or His agents. Instead, Hell is always described as a state of torment coming as the result of a choice on the part of the person who finds himself there. There is a difference between torture and torment. I can be continually tormented over a decision I made in the past, without being actively tortured by anyone.

Duration of the Punishment is Not Based on Duration of the Crime
The torment experienced in Hell is eternal, and for some, this still seems inequitable compared to the finite and limited sins that we might commit here on earth. So let’s address the issue of the duration of the punishment. First, it’s important for us to remember the severity of a crime does not always have anything to do with the amount of time it takes to commit it. If I embezzle five dollars a day from my boss over the course of five years, I might eventually get caught and pay the penalty for embezzling $32,500.00. In the State of California, this violates California Penal Code 503PC and the punishment might be anything from probation to a 5 year state prison sentence. But if I become enraged at a coworker and in the blink of an eye I lose my temper and kill him, the crime is now murder (187PC). This crime took much less than five years to commit. It only took five seconds. Yet the penalty for this crime is far greater. I will be serving at least 25 years to life, and I may even be put to death. The penalties for these two crimes are very different, and they have nothing to do with the duration of the actual criminal act. Instead, the severity of the crime is the key to determining its punishment. It’s the same way with God. The duration of the crime has little to do with the duration of the penalty. It’s all about the severity of the crime. “But are you trying to tell me that my disbelief alone is severe enough for me to deserve an eternal hell?” That question will be addressed in the next section. For now, it’s enough to simply point out that the duration of the crime is not what determines the punishment of the crime.

Punishment is Based on the Source of the Law
In addition to this, it’s important to remember the punishment for any crime is not determined by the criminal, but by the authority who is responsible for upholding the standard. Justice is not determined by the law breaker, but by the law giver. Justice and punishment are established based on the nature of the source of the law, not the nature of the source of the offense. Since God is the source of justice and the law, His nature determines the punishment. Since God is eternal and conscious, all rewards and punishments must also be eternal and conscious.

The Crime is Worse Than You Think
Finally, it’s important to remember the nature of the crime eventually leading one into Hell. It is not the fact you kicked your dog in 1992. It’s not the fact you had evil thoughts about your teacher in 1983. The crime earning us a place in Hell is our rejection of the true and living eternal God. This rejection is not finite. People who reject God have rejected Him completely. They have rejected Him to their death, to the very end. They have rejected Him as an ultimate and final decision. God then has the right and obligation to judge them with an ultimate punishment. To argue God’s punishment does not fit our crime is to underestimate our crime.

There are several good reasons to expect an eternal punishment even though our earthly crimes may seem finite. Our approach to this objection may require us to give a robust and cumulative response:

Objection:
Why Would A Loving God Punish Finite Sin With Infinite Torture?

Response:
A Loving God simply allows us to suffer the anguish and torment resulting as a consequence of our bad choices. There is a difference between self-inflicted torment and active torture at the hands of another. The duration of the crime has nothing to do with the duration of the punishment (even in this life). The source of the law determines the degree of the punishment, and God is a perfect eternal, conscious being. Don’t be surprised to find we often underestimate the eternal consequence of our own sinful and ultimate choice to reject God.

Objection Four
Why Is the Penalty of Hell the Same, Even Though People Are So Different?
For some skeptics, the inequitable nature of Hell is seen in the way God punishes. Isn’t it unfair to send someone like Gandhi to Hell (simply because he was not a Christian) alongside someone like Hitler (who committed unspeakable atrocities)? A reasonable and just God would not be the source of such inequitable punishment, would He? In one sense, it is true: All sin has the same consequence when measured against God’s perfection. Lying is just as significant as murder when it comes to assessing our imperfection relative to the perfection of God. Even the slightest sin demonstrates our inadequacy and need for a Savior. But make no mistake about it; some sins are clearly more heinous than others in the eyes of God (John 19:11-12). As a result, the God of the Bible equitably prescribes punishments for wrongdoing on earth and in the next life:

There Are Degrees of Punishment on Earth
When God gave the Law to Moses, He made one thing very clear: Some sins are more punishable than others. God assigned different penalties to different crimes, based on the offensive or heinous nature of the sin itself. The Mosaic Law is filled with measured responses to sin. God prescribed punishments appropriate to the crimes in question (Exodus 21:23-25). In fact, the Mosaic Law carefully assured that each offender would be punished “according to his guilt” and no more (Deuteronomy 25:2-3). The Mosaic Law is evidence of two things. First, while any sin may separate us from the perfection of God, some sins are unmistakably more offensive than others. Second, God prescribes different punishments for different crimes based on the severity of each crime.

There Are Degrees of Punishment in Hell
In a similar way, God applies this principle to the next life, prescribing a variety of punishments in eternity corresponding to the crimes committed in this life (Revelation 20:12-13). This is most apparent in Jesus’ teaching on the “Wicked Servant” (Luke 12:42-48). In a straight forward interpretation of this parable, those who reject the teaching and calling of God will be harshly punished, but those who have less clarity on what can be known about God (“the one who did not know it”) will be punished with less severity. There are degrees of punishment in Hell; God is equitable and fair when it comes to the destiny of those who have rejected Him.

Those who know more about God are held to a higher degree of accountability and responsibility. This is clear from the words of Jesus Himself (John 9:41, John 15:22-24) and the authors of the New Testament (Hebrews 10:28-19). But God has also given us enough information in the natural world (Romans 1:18-20) and in our own moral intuitions (Romans 2:14-15) to conclude He exists. For this reason, no one holds a legitimate excuse excluding them from the justice of God.

Objection:
Why Is the Penalty of Hell the Same, Even Though People Are So Different?

Response:
While all who reject God will be separated from Him for eternity, not all will suffer the same form of punishment. The God of the Bible is equitable and fair, loving and just. He provides a pardon to everyone (through Jesus’ work on the cross) and fairly deals with those who have rejected the pardon, based on the severity of their crimes.

Objection Five
Why Would A Loving God Send Good People to Hell?
Some skeptics think it is unfair for God to penalize people who are otherwise good, just because they haven’t heard about Jesus. How many times have your non-believing friends said something like, “Hey, I’m a good person. If there is a Heaven, I know I’ll be there, because I’ve never done anything to deserve Hell”? I hear this all the time. It is almost as if they believe the Christian God simply sends people to Hell because they haven’t heard about Jesus or because they didn’t believe in Jesus. But this is simply not the case.

There Are No Innocent People
God sends people to Hell because we deserve it. God assigns people to Hell because we are guilty:

Revelation 20:12
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And what are the “works” of human beings? Remember what Paul quoted and described when outlining the true nature of humans:

Romans 3:10-18
There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving, The poison of asps is under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; Their feet are swift to shed blood, Destruction and misery are in their paths, And the path of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Humans are not actually as “good” as we would like to think we are. We are continually “missing the mark”. We are continually sinning. And this sin is worthy of punishment:

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death…

This is the Biblical description of humanity and the consequence of our supposed “goodness”. The Bible says none of us are good to begin with. But for those of us who might not want to accept the truth of the Bible, let’s look at it from a more philosophical perspective.

It’s All About “Perfection”, Not “Goodness”
If there is a God, then this God is responsible for creating everything in the Universe. This means God created matter from non-matter, life from non-life. If this is true, God has incredible, infinite, unspeakable power. This is why, as Christians, we believe God is perfect; He has the power to eliminate imperfection. The Christian God is not just a good God after all. He is a perfect God. His standard is not goodness, it is perfection. The real question each of us has to ask ourselves is not “Are we good?” The real question we should be asking is, “Are we perfect?” Can any of us answer in the affirmative here? Even if we reject the teaching of the Bible (but accept the possibility there may be a God), we should expect His standard will be perfection. You and I are guilty. That is why we deserve punishment. Our very nature is a nature of self-serving rebellion. As we stand in front of the judge, there is little defense we can offer. We do (or at least think about doing) wrong or bad things each and every day. We cannot argue to God we should be given Heaven as a reward for our good behavior. To do so would be to underestimate the nature of our own fallen condition. In spite of this, God offers each and every one of us a pardon. Read the second part of Romans 6:23:

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Although we’ve earned death, God is offering us a ‘free gift’ of eternal life (in spite of our behavior). He’s offering us a pardon. God does not send good people to Hell. We deserve Hell. We send ourselves to Hell when we reject God’s free pardon.

Objection:
Why Would A Loving God Send Good People to Hell?

Response:
A loving God recognizes none of us are good (even though we sometimes think we are) and in spite of this, He offers us forgiveness and a life with Him in Heaven. All of us deserve Hell. But God does not send us to Hell even though this is true. Instead, He offers to pardon us and prevent us from getting what we deserve.

Christian claims related to the existence and nature of Hell can be defended both from the Biblical text and from reasonable, rational philosophical arguments. As Christian Case Makers, we should be prepared to offer both lines of defense. To help you in this regard, I’ve prepared a free downloadable Bible Insert briefly summarizing these defenses. You can find it at the link in the right column at the ColdCaseChristianity.com homepage.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity

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Other posts that deal with Coldplay:

Three things that do not bring lasting Satisfaction, (Coldplay’s spiritual search Part 5)

Coldplay – 42 Live Coldplay perform on the french television channel W9. I wrote this article a couple of years ago: The Spiritual Search for the Afterlife Russ Breimeier rightly noted that it seems that Coldplay is “on the verge of identifying a great Truth” and their latest CD is very provocative. Many songs mention […]

Are Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin looking for Spiritual Answers? (Coldplay’s spiritual search Part 4)

  CP I wrote this article a couple of years ago. Are Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin looking for Spiritual Answers? Just like King Solomon’s predicament in the Book of Ecclesiastes, both of these individuals are very wealthy, famous, and successful, but they still are seeking satisfying answers to life’s greatest questions even though it […]

Insight into what Coldplay meant by “St. Peter won’t call my name” (Series on Coldplay’s spiritual search, Part 3)

Coldplay seeks to corner the market on earnest and expressive rock music that currently appeals to wide audiences Here is an article I wrote a couple of years ago about Chris Martin’s view of hell. He says he does not believe in it but for some reason he writes a song that teaches that it […]

Will Coldplay’s 2011 album continue on spiritual themes found in 2008 Viva La Vida? (Series on Coldplay’s spiritual search, Part 2)

Views:2 By waymedia Coldplay Coldplay – Life In Technicolor ii Back in 2008 I wrote a paper on the spiritual themes of Coldplay’s album Viva La Vida and I predicted this spiritual search would continue in the future. Below is the second part of the paper, “Coldplay’s latest musical lyrics indicate a Spiritual Search for the […]

Will Coldplay’s 2011 album continue on spiritual themes found in 2008 Viva La Vida? (Series on Coldplay’s spiritual search, Part 1)

Coldplay performing “Glass of Water.” Back in 2008 I wrote a paper on the spiritual themes of Coldplay’s album Viva La Vida and I predicted this spiritual search would continue in the future. Below is the first part of the paper, “Coldplay’s latest musical lyrics indicate a Spiritual Search for the Afterlife.” Coldplay’s latest musical […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 35 Robert M. Pirsig (Feature on artist Kerry James Marshall)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 34 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Feature on artist Shahzia Sikander)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 33 Aldous Huxley (Feature on artist Matthew Barney )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 32 Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen and “The Meaningless of All Things” (Feature on photographer Martin Karplus )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 31 David Hume and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist William Pope L. )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 30 Rene Descartes and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist Olafur Eliasson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 29 W.H. Thorpe and “The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method” (Feature on artist Jeff Koons)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 28 Woody Allen and “The Mannishness of Man” (Feature on artist Ryan Gander)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 27 Jurgen Habermas (Featured artist is Hiroshi Sugimoto)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 26 Bettina Aptheker (Featured artist is Krzysztof Wodiczko)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 25 BOB DYLAN (Part C) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s song “Ballad of a Thin Man” and the disconnect between the young generation of the 60’s and their parents’ generation (Feature on artist Fred Wilson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 24 BOB DYLAN (Part B) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s words from HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED!! (Feature on artist Susan Rothenberg)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 23 BOB DYLAN (Part A) (Feature on artist Josiah McElheny)Francis Schaeffer on the proper place of rebellion with comments by Bob Dylan and Samuel Rutherford

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 22 “The School of Athens by Raphael” (Feature on the artist Sally Mann)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 21 William B. Provine (Feature on artist Andrea Zittel)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 20 Woody Allen and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ida Applebroog)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 19 Movie Director Luis Bunuel (Feature on artist Oliver Herring)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 18 “Michelangelo’s DAVID is the statement of what humanistic man saw himself as being tomorrow” (Feature on artist Paul McCarthy)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 17 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part C (Feature on artist David Hockney plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 16 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part B (Feature on artist James Rosenquist plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 15 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part A (Feature on artist Robert Indiana plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 14 David Friedrich Strauss (Feature on artist Roni Horn )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 13 Jacob Bronowski and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ellen Gallagher )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 12 H.J.Blackham and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Arturo Herrera)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 11 Thomas Aquinas and his Effect on Art and HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 2: THE MIDDLES AGES (Feature on artist Tony Oursler )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 10 David Douglas Duncan (Feature on artist Georges Rouault )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 9 Jasper Johns (Feature on artist Cai Guo-Qiang )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 8 “The Last Year at Marienbad” by Alain Resnais (Feature on artist Richard Tuttle and his return to the faith of his youth)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 7 Jean Paul Sartre (Feature on artist David Hooker )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 6 The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan Van Eyck which was saved by MONUMENT MEN IN WW2 (Feature on artist Makoto Fujimura)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 5 John Cage (Feature on artist Gerhard Richter)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 3 PAUL GAUGUIN’S 3 QUESTIONS: “Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going? and his conclusion was a suicide attempt” (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part A)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 2 “A look at how modern art was born by discussing Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas,Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, and Picasso” (Feature on artist Peter Howson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 1 HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? “The Roman Age” (Feature on artist Tracey Emin)

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