Bible critics are full of complaints about the Bible. There are plenty of critics. In fact, you could stand in the middle of a field, put on a blindfold, and swing a dead cat, and you’ll likely hit four or five Bible critics. While some of their complaints may come from legitimate questions, very many of them come from what I call the “It seems to me…..” type of complaint.
For example, they complain about the morality of God in the Old Testament, or the way they think the creation account should have gone, or how Jesus should have said certain things, or how God should act if prayers are effective. I saw a video clip of Richard Dawkins, complaining that he thought the idea rather absurd that God would send His son to be a human, then have Him tortured to death on a cross.
This complaint, and many others, can be described as: “It seems to me that if God were doing things they way that I think He should, His Son wouldn’t die like that.” “It seems to me that the creation account should be different.” “It seems to me that if God were answering prayers, we’d get a different result.” “It seems to me that Jesus should have said such-and-so.” And on and on. Of course they usually phrase the sentences in terms that are more colorful and appear indignant.
All of these complaints suffer from at least two major problems. First, they prove nothing other than the person saying them does not like them. There is no logical disproof, no evidential contradiction. All we have is a person saying, “It seems to me that things should be different.” Nothing is proven, no truth claim presented. Could it be that an infinite God might see things different than you?
Second, most of these are ultimately rooted in a moral indignation, or at least a sense of what “ought to be.” It seems to the critic that things should be different. But who or what are we using as a referent in this sense of oughtness? Another person may say “It seems to me that things are fine.” Well, who is to judge? The critic must appeal to something larger than mere subjectivism, something more than themselves. But if that is the case, we now have some universal principle of the way things should be, oftentimes in a moral sense of right and wrong. The critic would say “It seems to me that God’s actions in the Bible are immoral.” Well now, where did you get that universal morality that applies to all people, and is not just your opinion?
So the “It seems to me ……..” type of Bible criticism does not prove any logical contradiction, and may disprove strict materialism. Examine the statements of the critics, and you’ll see that most of them will dissolve away, even if they may seem solidly worded or emotionally profound to you at first. ‘It seems to me’ that they are closer to sophistry than hard criticism.