However, the problem that is presented is somewhat like one presented by a theologian a number of years ago. While on a train, he saw a small child who was sitting on his father’s lap reach up and slap his father across the face. The theologian said “That is what the atheist is, a child who must sit in the lap of God, so that he may reach up and slap Him in the face.”
In other words, what right does the atheist have to say that God allows evil, if he does not believe God when he states what evil is? He must sit on the lap of God, accepting His definition of evil, to be able to say that God is evil, in other words, to slap Him across the face.
The atheist or agnostic may respond that he has instituted his own definition of evil. He has not, if it is his definition of evil, in other words a personal definition, then it must remain that: a personal definition. A personal definition cannot be enforced upon others; the atheist thus has no right to say that anyone else is committing evil; according to his definition he is the only one in the world that can be evil.
It is God that defines good and evil. God is goodness personified, thus everything He does must be by definition good because He decides what good is. The fact that mankind has stepped on to the tracks, if you will, does not change the goodness of God. To define good we must be upheld by God, in His lap, as it were. His system must be accepted, the only way to argue against Christianity is to first assume Christianity. “The proof for God is that without God you cannot prove anything,”1
The final response would be that nothing has meaning, that there is no need to prove anything, that we do not need to believe in anything, that we do not need logic. The very words that must be used only have meaning if something has given them meaning. If nothing has meaning, you cannot argue that nothing has meaning. To say that you can is to reject logic.
If a man rejects logic, then he does not reject logic. Because if he is being illogical, then we can say anything we want because nothing has any meaning. To say that we can reject logic is to assume that there is a logical difference between rejecting and accepting logic. Thus again we have first assumed logic, on which Christianity is built, to argue against logic. Yes indeed, we can only slap the father if we are first sitting in his lap.
Andrew C. Abbott
1: Dr. Gregory Bahnsen