People who have Loftus’s book will notice I skipped over a couple of chapters. I need to explain. Most anxiously, I’m sure some were looking forward to the review on the chapter on the Problem of Evil. I chose to not do that actually at this time because I have written a research paper on the topic focusing on natural evil and using Loftus’s arguments and explaining why I think they’re fallacious. It is being reviewed by some English major friends of mine and then I’ll edit it and turn it in and after I get it back, I plan on putting it up. It could be a month or two so there will be waiting. Rest assured though, it is one I am looking forward to.
There is also the chapter on Calvinism. I did not review that simply because I am not a Calvinist and I will leave it to the Calvinists to defend Calvinism. I will put up one critique of it though here. I was surprised because in all the writings that I found there, I did not find one quote from John Calvin. I would think a critique of Calvinism would include some of his statements.
For now though, we move to what Loftus calls the Achilles’ heel of Christianity. That is the difference between the modern mind and the ancient mind.
Odd. I find that the Achilles’ Heel of modernity. (What happened to that Outsiders Test?)
He says we must either canonize these standards that are primitive thinking, come to a half-way house in-between, or reject them.
Or we can just realize they’re not primitive thinking. It’s simply Chronological snobbery.
In speaking of the slave being beat for instance, Loftus doesn’t understand that discipline would be used at times and the owner was given the benefit of the doubt. It’s unlikely he’d want to kill a slave. (It’s also worth noting that this was for a theocracy.) Slavery in those days was hardly anything like it was in the Civil War period. In fact, it was Christianity that ended slavery. (Loftus. Go look up Bathilda, wife of Clovis II or get a book like “The Victory of Reason” by Rodney Stark.)
As for science, Loftus says science runs on the assumption that there is a natural explanation for every event. (Page 262) Yes friends. Watch that. It’s an assumption. I don’t see Loftus’s assertions here. I can see God working through natural events just as much as supernatural ones. Even with a grocery store down the street, I can still pray for my daily bread.
Let’s remember the main part though. This is an assumption? Can it be demonstrated? No. He takes it on faith. (Has he read C.S. Lewis’s essay on the Laws of Nature in God in the Dock?) Why should the world be granted as rational? Why should it be that my mind that is the result supposedly of an accident somehow corresponds to a world that is accidental as well? (For an excellent look at this, see Dinesh D’Souza’s “What’s So Great About Christianity?”
Of course, he complains about God in the Gaps. Loftus. Who was the first to despise the God of the Gaps idea? It was Christians! Check a Methodist layspeaker named Charles Coulson as an example. While I am generally against it, let something be admitted. If God did do something fiat, then we are not going to be able to close that gap. We should not ask “What is the best natural explanation for X?” but “What is the best explanation?”
As Loftus goes on, it’s more of the chronological snobbery that we’ve already seen and dealt with. If this is the Achilles’ heel, we are in good hands.