The Hidden Love of God and the Imaging Defense

In James M. Arcadi, Oliver D. Crisp & Jordan Wessling (eds.), Love, Human and Divine: Contemporary Essays in Systematic and Philosophical Theology. New York, NY, USA: (forthcoming)
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J. L. Schellenberg has recently argued that there is a logical incompatibility between God’s being perfectly loving and there being non-resistant nonbelievers in the proposition that God exists. In this paper I highlight the parallel between this claim and the claim made by the logical problem of evil. Following Plantinga’s strategy in undermining the logical problem of evil, I argue that all that is needed to undermine the alleged incompatibility of divine love with non-resistant non-belief is a counterexample showing how the two might possibly co-exist. But whereas most attempts to show this have been grounded anthropologically, by drawing on forms of love-relationship that God and humans have in common, I offer a defense of the compatibility of perfect divine love with human non-resistant non-belief in God’s existence grounded theologically, in the unique sort of love relationship that God wants with us, which is the relationship of “imaging.”
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