Modern Christian theism: survival of the fittest?

On last weekend’s Unbelievable? broadcast/podcast, Alister McGrath and Stephen Law discussed some key points of McGrath’s book, Why Won’t God Go Away? One of Stephen Law’s primary arguments is that in a universe pervaded by a mixture of good and evil, we have no more evidence for an omnimalevolent god than we have for an omnibenevolent one. In response to McGrath’s contention that there are various Christian ways to explain evil while maintaining omnibenevolence, Law dismissively agreed how clever and sophisticated theological arguments have indeed become over 2,000 years of development. McGrath responded,

And certainly, Stephen is right, there are various notions of God down the ages, and by a process of, if you like, Darwinian attrition some of these have simply been left dead on the seashore of life. But the key point is that this vision of God remains enormously influential because people find it resonates with their experience of the world and [it is] their own way of engaging their experience.

Bear in mind, McGrath is adamant that there should be no talk of “proving” any of this in any direction. But in the absence of anything resembling proof, one of the main reasons I remain a Christian is because it indeed “resonates with [my] experience of the world”. I found the implication that the Christian understanding of a good and loving God has survived, adapted, and grown in popularity because it has been deemed especially “fit” for making sense of the world to be a fascinating idea. If someone replied that “fittest” doesn’t mean “most accurate”, that would play somewhat into Plantinga’s (problematic) evolutionary argument against naturalism, wouldn’t it?

McGrath’s was a modest claim, not a “proof”, nor even much of a “pointer”. But I found it intriguing nonetheless. What do you think?

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