It's Not Fair!

Newsweek's recent debate between Sam Harris and Rick Warren ("God Debate") has a number of compelling moments, including the following litany of questions, courtesy of Sam Harris:

"How is it fair for God to have designed a world which gives such ambiguous testimony to his existence? How is it fair to have created a system where belief is the crucial piece, rather than being a good person? How is it fair to have created a world in which by mere accident of birth, someone who grew up Muslim can be confounded by the wrong religion?"

Despite the wheedling tone, these are serious questions that deserve serious answers.  A fair answer to all three of these questions requires a basic understanding of the biblical teaching on sin -- its noetic effects, its moral implications, and its hereditary influences.

But I am more interested in Harris's presupposition that we would be better off if God dealt with us strictly in terms of justice, when in fact our only hope is for God to show us mercy.


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