I’m reading Bart Ehrman’s book God’s Problem. So far, it is an interesting read. I’d hardly call it an unbiased look at the backdrop of scripture, but nonetheless it has been both humorous and humorless, each in the right proportion and at the right time. I haven’t really read anything that quotable in my opinion, until this evening. It is not quotable for its grandeur or clarity, rather its complete lack of support!
Closing up the chapter on suffering as the natural result of human interaction – the idea that we often cause the suffering others experience, not God as punishment for sin – he begins to wax eloquent and slightly introspective:
If ultimately there were a God involved in all this – especially if this God were responsible for all the wicked things that happen – then I suppose there is very little we could do about it. But I don’t believe that for a second. The pain done to human beings by human beings is not caused by a superhuman entity. Since human beings misbehave and hurt others out of their free will (which does exist, even if God doesn’t), then we need to intervene ourselves and do what we can…
God’s Problem, pp. 122-123
Now, while agreeing that the proper response to human suffering is to intervene ourselves, I find his general opinion appalling (and questionable from a logical standpoint). But it is his own, and it isn’t like he is trying to be coy about it. Now, to throw out God, and then still assert to everyone that free will exists takes some gall!