Right to Reply

I saw this on Facebook earlier this week:

Lots of my PhD friends think it hilarious. Since it’s good practice in the scientific community, to allow responses when an author is criticized, I’m going to write a ‘right to reply’ on God’s behalf.

1. One major publication? No, several. The Bible is not just one book. It is lots of books bound together for convenience, not to mention the Apocrypha. And since when did only having one publication (or fewer) stop someone getting a PhD?

2. Hebrew? That was the language at the time of writing (of the Old Testament). The New Testament started life in Greek. And has since been translated into English.

3. No references? This was the seminal work in the area: the one that sparked off all other works. There were no references to be had!

4. Refereed journals are a man-made invention. They weren’t around when the Bible was published. In substitute, many scholars work on Bible translations, to make sure that they represent God’s word as far as humans can understand it, as far as possible.

5. Some? Most Christians would attest that God used human hands to write the Bible. He does not work in the world alone, per se, but through His body, the church.

6. Since the creation of the world, God has been active therein making sure that humans have the grace to cope with worldly happenings, loving them, and preparing them for Heaven. He also sent Jesus, to die on the Cross in substitute for us. If He had done nothing else for me, I would owe Him everything.

7. His cooperative efforts? You’ll find, upon closer inspection that at various points in your life God has been more than ready to cooperate with you. More to the point is that you have not cooperated with Him, and have gone down your own path instead.

8. Any human would have a hard time creating the universe. That was God’s work.

9. Since God created humans he transcends the need for an Ethics board. He determines whether we breathe from one minute to the next.

10. Noah’s ark was not an experiment. This is true by scientific definition (there was no manipulated variable). Rather God warned people about evil, they refused to obey Him, and  faced the consequences.

11. As predicted? Errm. God knows in advance how humans will behave, so there was no sample deletion dependent upon not meeting predictions. Or, if you do see death as sample deletion, this deletion was reported in full for the world to read about.

12. Rarely came to class? That’s the point. God demands faith. If He was around in visible form, we wouldn’t have the same relationship with Him as we do now.

13. True, Jesus sent his son to teach the class. But because of the Holy Trinity, He was there also.

14. No. He didn’t expel Adam and Eve for learning; He expelled them for explicitly disobeying Him.

15. Again, the point is that humans fail to meet the standards of the 10 commandments. Commandments aren’t a scientific test of behaviour; they’re guidelines by which we should live.

16. Office hours? We have a 24 hour ‘hotline to God. Don’t think any PhD student could claim to have been accessible to that extent during their PhD.

17. No record of working well with colleagues? Try reading the Bible again. Look at the writing of Paul, the disciples, and numerous members of the early Church. God works kindly with those inferior to Himself, who want to work with Him. Which says quite a lot about His character.

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