David Limbaugh

He asks, "How moral is the following? I am told of a human sacrifice that took place two thousand years ago, without my wishing it and in circumstances so ghastly that, had I been present and in possession of any influence, I would have been duty-bound to try and stop it. In consequence of this murder, my own manifold sins are forgiven me, and I may hope to enjoy everlasting life."

Hitchens rejects that he is responsible for Christ's flogging and crucifixion, in which he had no say and no part. He rejects that Christ's agony was necessary to compensate for the sin of Adam, of which he also had no part.

The Original Sin Doctrine has always bothered me a bit, too. But it's hard to deny in light of the human condition, which only the Biblical worldview accurately describes. This condition also renders the secular humanist's utopian belief in the perfectibility of man to be the kind of wishful thinking at which Hitchens' derisively scoffs. Whether or not you believe man is condemned for Adam's sins, doesn't the universality of our own personal sins make the matter moot?

I respectfully suggest that Hitchens is looking at this backward. We are not condemned for Christ's death but for our own sinfulness. Christ's death and resurrection are not our condemnation. They are our avenue to deliverance.

In the debate, Hitchens seemed to be saying that the idea of atonement through Christ's substitutionary death is inconsistent with our accountability for sin. He also seemed to object to the idea that our salvation depends on whether we "believe" Christ died for us.

Saving faith, however, is not merely intellectual assent to the proposition that Christ died for you. Rather, it's a full-blown commitment to placing your very life in His hands and entrusting Him to save you. Saving faith also involves genuine repentance -- a deliberate turning away from your sins in complete humility -- and turning toward Christ for salvation. There's plenty of accountability in sincere contrition.

There is nothing immoral in someone voluntarily sacrificing His life for you -- especially when that someone is the very Giver of life -- the Judge of all things. Nothing could be more moral; nothing could be more loving.

Hitchens apparently believes skepticism is a badge of intelligence and reserved for nonbelievers, yet many believers have their fair share of it, too. They don't fear it, they embrace it, as working through it invigorates rather than undermining their faith.

While Hitchens mocks the faith of Christians in "myths," Christians believe their faith is strongly supported by evidence. Hitchens wholly ignores that evidence as well as the great leaps of faith antitheists must take to assume away the limitations of science and naturalism in explaining man's origins.


David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert on law and politics. He recently authored the New York Times best-selling book: "Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel."

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