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"God Is Not Dead" Revisited

A while back I wrote about the movie "God is Not Dead". I still haven't seen it nor do I plan to, for the reasons I wrote about before.

It seems that the reason this movie is popular among Christians, even those who do not identify with the evangelical movement, and who would never consider themselves anti-education (by which I mean people who are college educated) is that it offers them some sense of vindication. They overlook the implausibility of the plot--the professor requiring his students to sign a paper saying "God is Dead" if they wish to continue in his class--because the arguments offered by the one student brave enough to stand up to the professor are "so good."

Now, not having seen this movie, I don't know what this student said in defending belief in God, and frankly, I don't care. There is a fundamental problem with apologetics of any stripe when it comes to arguing for belief in a single god, goddess or multiple deities--one that is never addressed or mentioned. I tried to raise it before on another forum only to have my question sidetracked, hijacked, but never directly addressed.

Here is the problem: Why do we (believers and non-believers) talk about God (Gods/Goddesses) in the third person? Why isn't this "being" (or "beings") invited to join the conversation, if in fact he/she/it/they do exist?

All the arguments for (and against) the existence of God talk about God as "He" (or She or They). This is entirely reasonable if one does not believe or accept the existence of God(s); however, if you are a believer attempting to convince others that this entity (or entities) exist, this creates a BIG problem. At some point shouldn't this entity be able to speak for itself?

Think about it. About the only time that it is acceptable to refer to someone who is present as "he" or "she" (which is what I mean by third person) is if you are introducing them to someone else. "As in this is my friend Gerald, who works down at the coffee shop." You do not continue to refer to Gerald as "he" and never speak directly to him; if you do, that's rude. After the introductions, it's time to include Gerald in the conversation and say, "you" when referring to him.

However, if Gerald is not present, then it is perfectly acceptable to discuss Gerald using "he". That's the most common use of the third person and when it is done like that everyone understands that the person talked about is not present. It doesn't mean Gerald doesn't exist, it means he's not physically able to take part in the conversation at that time.

When apologists talk about God, they are doing the same thing. They are speaking for that entity. Why? Because it is obvious that God cannot join the conversation about Him/Her/Itself/Themselves. God is silent. Now, silence doesn't necessarily mean non-existence, but it is not a strong argument in favor of existence either.

I have sat in numerous Bible studies and even church services where for 90% of the meeting God is talked about in the third person as if He were not present. That means God is directly addressed as "You" for only 10% of the time--and that mainly in the form of requests. "Lord, we ask You to do this, we ask you to do that." God is never given a chance to answer. This strikes me as odd.

So I say it's time for the apologists to shut up and let God (whatever form God is) speak for Godself.

And now I have a graduation to go to.


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Spinning Compass
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