For some reason Christian evangelist Jefferson Bethke gets under my skin. He appeals to young Christians who want to move the Christianity in a more progressive direction but then attempts to pull them back toward right wing fundamentalism. In his latest video series, he has been interviewing Christian leader, Tim Keller. This last video is just priceless on so many levels. Have a look:
First, I love how Keller talks about all these other religions. He purposely distorts their stories to make them out to be even more ridiculous than they already are and then he puts Christianity right there in the mix – no evidence, no differentiation from the other religions. I only wish Keller added Thor and Zeus to his list. Even when trying to make these other religions sound more ridiculous it doesn’t seem to make the Christianity any less ridiculous.
According to Keller, Christianity says,
“If you trust in Jesus Christ and you give yourself to him, he’ll be present with you right now and you can know that someday you’re going to live forever and be with him and all the sufferings will be taken away and every tear will be wiped away.”
So that is how Christianity helps people “deal with” suffering? LMAO!
Keller attacks atheism – or as he puts it, “modern western culture — as not having an answer to suffering. He correctly points out that all the happiness we are ever going to get is right here. Then he claims that this can tell us nothing about how to handle suffering. This is particularly interesting because he doesn’t have a real answer to suffering either and for a Christian that is actually a problem. Atheists don’t need to make up stories about a cure for suffering in some imagined afterlife; our solution is to try to minimize suffering right now here in this life. Maybe we don’t have all the answers, but we are at least living in reality and trying to deal with the actual suffering of real people right now.
Here is what atheists aren’t doing. We are not blaming suffering on normal human behavior. We aren’t claiming that we have offended imagery deities and that as a result we somehow deserve the suffering we deal with every day. We aren’t then making up solutions that people can only receive after they are dead. No, atheists are pushing for people to abandon those ancient superstitions and to actually start deal with suffering in this life rather than some imagined afterlife. We aren’t making ridiculous promises out of whole cloth and selling them door-to-door as snake oil. That’s not dealing with suffering. That’s dealing with a delusion.
Keller finishes by claiming that of all the cultures in history, “secular western culture” gives people the least hope in dealing with suffering while Christianity gives people the most help. Wrong again, Tim. Introducing even more make-believe stories doesn’t provide any real solutions to the problem of suffering that real people face. Plus, there is that big plot-hole about why suffering exists at all in the Christian worldview. Shall I refer you to Epicurus?