Is it germane to this discussion to note also that in classical doctrines
of providence, Creation and Providence are distinct categories? Perhaps
the most compelling reason for this is the Fall.
So for example, in his article on 'Providence' in the New Dictionary of
Theology, Nigel Cameron of Trinity, Deerfield notes that without such a
distinction Christian theodicy is in jeopardy. A similar point is made
with rather wider implications by the late Prof Donald MacKay, doyen of
British theistic evolutionists:
>When an author decides to revise the story or drama he has conceived, it
is clear that his revision is an act >of creation, on a par with any of his
earlier acts, 'Let us no longer have this, but that' is logically on the
same >footing as 'let ther be this, and that'. The resulting created
order, once again is a spatio-temporal unity, >whose past, present and
future may therefore be expected to bear the marks of the revision.
>In discussion of the Genesis creation narrative it is often insufficiently
realised that the last creative act is >recorded not in chapters 1 and 2
but in chapter 3. 'And (God) said...'Cursed is the ground...
(There are massive implications in this statement for a discussion of ID.
The phrase 'bears the marks of' sounds like an ID-type statement, coming
from a TE proponent. Oh, that the good Professor were still with us to be
asked if he could conceive of developing scientific criteria for discerning
those marks! The two sides of this debate may have more in common than we
Prof Paul Helm (King's Coll, London) commenting on this makes the point
that there is a sense that 'natural' processes now may be called
'unnatural' when viewed from the perspective of the creator who created all
Somehow we need to pull all of this into our understanding of Providence,
noting espceially that reading back from what is natural now to events
prior to the Fall requires a degree of care. Even one as convinced of the
TE position as MacKay recognised that.