God’s Unconditional Love

 

Dear Dr. Craig,

As a Christian concerned with providing sound reasons for my own faith, I appreciate your blog, podcast, and contributions to philosophy of religion. With that being said, in your Q&A #123, you argued that the Islamic conception of God is morally inadequate. Near the end of your post, you stated that:

"God's love is impartial, universal, and unconditional ... [and] that a morally perfect being would love people impartially, all people, and without strings attached. But Allah has no love at all for unbelievers. This is not just a difference of degree, but of night and day!"

I agree that love, as you assert, is a "greater-making property." However, while the Bible does say that God is all-loving (cf. the passages you noted concerning the prodigal son and the lost sheep), it does not say that God necessarily loves unbelievers, or sinners. On the contrary, several Old Testament passages state unambiguously that God hates sinners. Consider the following:

Psalm 5:5, "The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity,"
Psalm 11:5, "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates."
Lev. 20:23, "Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them."
Prov. 6:16-19, "There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers."
Hosea 9:15, "All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels."

How do you account for these verses, given your statement that "Jesus taught God's unconditional love for sinners?" What effect do these verses have for your argument regarding the moral superiority of the Christian conception of God?

Bridger

Click HERE to dear Dr. Craig's answer