What could possibly motivate someone to become a serial killer?  To randomly kill complete strangers?  Every so often, a confessed serial killer gets interviewed by some news outlet and is inevitably asked this question.  Many of the answers these killers give only add to the infuriating mystery of why they took so many human lives so senselessly. 

Last week, someone submitted a great comment to the website that I wanted to respond to in this week’s blog.  They suggested that faith, instead of being primarily an intellectual exercise, is really more about trust—trusting in Jesus which grows and deepens the more you experience His steadfast presence in your life.  Is this what Christian faith is? 

On the face of it, it’s absurd.  Perhaps even offensive.  The Son of God must die in our place to save us from our sins.  This is what God’s justice requires in order for Him to be able to forgive us; the only way for Him to reconcile His justice with His mercy.  Known as the doctrine of the Atonement, it’s one of the central doctrines of Christianity.  And it’s riddled with problems:

The other night I was watching a documentary about Bobby Kenney (RFK).  After his brother’s assassination, Bobby became a different person.  As those who knew him attested, he developed an empathy that had been sorely lacking beforehand, an empathy especially for those suffering marginalization and oppression, the exact opposite of his extravagantly privileged background.  He spent significant time with people who were deeply impoverished, particularly in Appalachia—perhaps the poorest region of the country at the time—and came away profoundly moved.

Underwood’s Deviled Ham.  That’s how I pictured Hell as a kid.  Not the deviled ham.  It wasn’t half bad.  No, the picture on the can.  I imagined Hell as a fiery place in the bowels of the earth where a little red man donning horns and a pitch-fork—the devil as pictured on the Underwood can—ran around tormenting people. 

Several years ago, Rob Bell wrote a very popular book called Love Wins.  In it, he argued that a loving God could never send anyone to Hell.  It’s beneath Him.  A loving God would give everyone a chance to repent—even after death—and wouldn’t stop pursuing them, wouldn’t “close the door to Heaven”, until they did.  Hence, in the end, (God’s) love wins.

About Me

E.J. Sweeney is a true skeptic. He needs to see to believe. Hard Evidence. Compelling Proof. Solid Logic. This is what he believes in. In college, he encountered questions that the superficial faith he was raised on couldn’t handle. So he began a quest for Truth, a quest for the answers to life’s ultimate questions.

EJ Sweeney

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