Why would God tarry with salvific news to people he loves?

The traditional Christian narrative is composed of two parts.

A. The beautiful idea that God loves the whole world, loves every person equally, wants no one to perish, and came down on Christmas to accomplish this.

B. The strange idea that God ignored almost everyone on the planet for up to 75% of the last 6,000 -8,000 years and had a relationship with only one tiny people group.

If these two parts are both true (and quite frankly A, I like, but B makes no sense), then:

  1. Why would God ignore 99% of the people groups of the world for over 4000 years? (Much longer if we look at historical dating, not young-earth-creationist dating) Why reject the people of North/South America? The large civilizations of Egypt, China, India? The vast tribal regions of Africa, Europe, nomadic Asia, and so forth? Why would God wait as billions of people who were born at the wrong time/place lived their horrid, short, ugly lives and died, never revealing that he loves them?
  2. Why would God, who loves each person equally, withhold from most of them a chance to hear the Gospel and believe? Traditional theology states that “whoever does not believe stands condemned already” and if we take that literally, every non-Jew who lived before the time of Jesus did not believe, and are condemned. Why would God chose to open the doors of salvation to all people so late in the game?
  3. Why would God’s method of communicating such profoundly important news take such a long time? It took Christianity 279 years to grow to 3 million people, Mormonism grew to 15 million in only 184 years. Christianity only spread outside of Europe/America in the last few hundred years. Why would God allow hundreds of generations of Americans, Chinese, Africans, Japanese, Pacific Islanders, Aborigines and etc, to die without hearing the good news, *after* it was already revealed in the Roman empire and in Europe?

One comment

  1. Because God, if there is a God, chooses to act through natural means.

    You can ask, “Why does God choose to act through natural means?”, but then you’re calling into question the whole project of creation. Why give us bodies at all? Why have us communicate using physical instruments to both transmit and receive sound, rather than telepathically? Why not just make us pure spirits who can communicate instantaneously, or better yet, simply instill all knowledge in us at once so that communication is unnecessary? This would solve the problem of physical pain as well as render moot the question of why God chooses to have information transmitted from person to person in time, rather than to everyone instantaneously.

    In the Christian religion there are two givens: (1) that the physical world exists, and we live in and experience it through our physical bodies; and (2) that God made it and us, which is the cause and explanation of (1). We work with what is given. We don’t necessarily claim to know why things are this way.


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