George Murphy wrote that
>.....Classical doctrines of
>providence include not only such sustaining work but also the divine
>work of _concurrence" or "cooperation", which means that God works with
>& through creatures in order to bring about whatever happens in the
>world. I.e., God is _active_, using natural processes (which themselves
>are God's creation & kept in being by God) as instruments.
> If we are concerned with God actually doing things in the world,
>it is really concurrence which should be emphasized, not sustenance.
But if there is no "theistic action" (either "smoothly blending" or
miraculous), then it seems that all of God's creatures are "running wild"
with no guidance or restraints. I doubt if this is what's implied, but it
seems to be the logical conclusion with no "theistic action". [of course,
there would be the Bible to provide guidance, but surely the New Covenant
is more than just the New Testament]
It seems to me that there are three possibilities:
1) creatures always do things in accord with their own "matter in
random motion" characteristics (as in modern secular psychology/sociology),
2) sometimes (or maybe always) God provides guidance (comfort, wisdom
for making decisions, a good attitude, courage,...),
3) God can actually "intervene" (with miracles,...) to be sure that
what happens is what He wants to happen. [this type of control could also
occur with smoothly-blending action -- even though we wouldn't *recognize*
that God had been taking action]
Unless "concurrence" is just naturalistic deism, there must be some
sort of "interaction" (what I'm calling "theistic action") between God and
his creatures. And if so, why not call it "action"? [which would, of
course, be totally consistent with God working through our actions -- the
difference is that in addition to the Bible and church-traditions, we have
the guidance of the Holy Spirit -- John 16, and so on -- to help us]
If concurrence involves no "action" how is it different than deism?
re: the suggestion that
>since we know now that the world isn't made up of static substances, I
>would suggest that sustenance is not possible without concurrence.)
Yes, creatures running wild would help to "bring about whatever happens
in the world" [from your definition above], but how is this related to what
God *wants* to happen?