Apologetics Thursday – Is God Reckless

From God’s Love is not Reckless:

I searched for the meaning of “reckless,” and Almighty Google tells me that “reckless” describes someone who acts “without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action.”

I tried the more respectable Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, and, similarly, it defines reckless as “marked by lack of proper caution: careless of consequences” and even as “irresponsible.”

Now, there are some true heretics out there (I’ve taught some of them ;). But I doubt that the author of the song “Reckless Love” is a heretic because I don’t think the theological intuition behind his use of the word “reckless” is heretical.

If we are talking about the God of the Bible (rather than the god of Greek metaphysics), certainly He makes reckless decisions. One was creating mankind. Things go so astray that the narrator and God both exclaim God’s regret of His own prior act in creating man:

Gen 6:6 And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
Gen 6:7 So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

This is one of two times the Bible explicitly depicts God as regretting His own decisions.

Embedded in the Genesis narrative is a second reversal, more hidden than the first. Scholar David Clines writes:

According to the biblical narrative, the Flood is determined upon by the deity because humans are wicked. He is sorry he has created humans and resolves to ‘blot them out’ with a flood of waters. The universal Flood he plans to bring upon the earth will destroy not only all humans but also all animals, and the earth itself (Gen. 6.13). His design is therefore to undo the whole work of creation.

In the event, according to the narrative, that is the opposite of what happens. The earth survives, the waters dry up, the animals are released on to the earth to breed abundantly (8.17)-and humanity, because of whom the annihilating Flood has been sent, is charged with being fruitful and multiplying and filling the earth yet again (9.1).

So the deity not only totally changes his mind about the wisdom of creating the world, he also totally changes his mind about the wisdom of uncreating it. The narrative, however, does not say that. It spends some time explaining how God decided to destroy the world, and how he felt about his original creation: he was ‘sorry that he had created humans, and it grieved him to his heart’ ( 6.6). But it does not spend a moment over how he felt about reversing his decision to destroy the world, or over how or why he made yet another U-turn.

I would say we have definitive evidence of God’s recklessness in the Bible.

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