An Absentee God?

Christian author Dinesh D’Souza debated prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens last October in New York. During the debate Hitchens raised a point for which D’Souza had no immediate answer.

Here’s what Hitchens said. Homo sapiens has been on the planet for a long time, let’s say 100,000 years. Apparently for 95,000 years God sat idly by, watching and perhaps enjoying man’s horrible condition … Then, a few thousand years ago, God said, “It’s time to get involved.” … Here is the thrust of Hitchens’ point: God seems to have been napping for 98 percent of human history, finally getting his act together only for the most recent 2 percent? What kind of a bizarre God acts like this?

D’Souza recently found a satisfying answer put forth by Erik Kreps of the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

An adept numbers guy, Kreps noters that it is not the number of years but the levels of human population that are the issue here. The Population Reference Bureau estimates that the number of people who have ever been born is approximately 105 billion. Of this number, about 2 percent were born in the 100,000 years before Christ came to earth.

“So in a sense,” Kreps notes, “God’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. If He’d come earlier in human history, how reliable would the records of his relationship with man be? But He showed up just before the exponential explosion in the world’s population, so even though 98 percent of humanity’s timeline had passed, only 2 percent of humanity had previously been born, so 98 percent of us have walked the earth since the Redemption.”

It is amazing to think that 98% of all humans who have ever lived were born into this world after Christ came. But however you crunch the numbers, the Bible insists that God sent his Son at precisely the right time. “When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

HT: Challies


  1. Abel says:

    hey i was looking for a picture for my xanga blog i just started, and i stumbled upon this site. Sometime Atheist think we have anwsers to everything and if we dont answer them there winning. For us christians it’s not about proving who’s wrong or who’s right,but sharing the gospel, so even though hitchens thought he stumbed d’souza we still witnessed to him. It just makes christians stonger for looking up something they didn’t know how to answer and finding the answer. It brings us closer to God,
    I like the entry,

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Abel – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And all the best with your new xanga blog.

  3. Gordon says:

    God could have, you know, resided with us the whole time like a real god would instead of making us, err, “letting us become” sinners through our ancestors and seething at us in unreasonable rage I mean (holiness) until he could take his anger, err “holy justice” out on his son. God could manifest in clear, personal, gentle ways instead of hiding behind a book. He could have given us a spirit that makes us better people instead of producing a stockholm syndrome of infinitely violent threats, “conviction”, sniveling capitulation “repentance” and traumatic bonding “assurance” with no significant behavioral change that isn’t derived from doctrine and ideology, and no ability to work miracles to probe the book God hides behind is true.
    What excuse does the christian god have for splitting you into thousands of sects and pitting you against each other, and hiding which one is his favorite by not actually destroying the devil’s works and giving Christians a monopoly on the supernatural, but letting the devil operate as usual as though Christ did nothing but buy your ideology a free ticket to heaven?

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