and then answers his own question,
>I believe that God _voluntarily_ limits
>the divine action (with the possible exception of a small set of
>miracles) to what can be accomplished in accord with natural processes
>obeying rational laws - processes & laws which are God's creations.
The Bible claims that God is actively involved in *much more* than just
"a small set of miracles." I won't try to be exhaustive here, but just a
few of many references to theistic action (of the type that REALLY MATTERS
in the lives of individual believers) are in John 16 (action of Holy
Spirit), or Paul's references to the action of God (e.g. Romans 8, and his
prayers in Phillipians 1 or Colossians 1). These are *central* to the
Christian faith (and to a definition of THEISM rather than deism). I don't
see how these can possibly fit into "natural processes obeying rational
laws," as you explain.
George explains why this isn't "deism",
> This doesn't mean that God is locked into a deterministic
>machine. Quantum & chaos theory indicate that there is some freedom in
>the linkages of events, & so even with God's voluntary self-limitation
>there is scope for divine freedom.
To me, this still sounds like "running wild" -- i.e., behaving according
to "matter in random motion" principles. And it sounds like deism.
(except, of course, for the "small set of miracles")
I think Jason Alley has the right idea when he says,
> The central
> issue is the diety, death, and ressurection of Christ. Lead people to
> Christ based on this,
But if there is any meaningful theism, then the type of theistic action
described above (as in John 16, Paul's prayers,...) *must* be a part of the
universe and God's actions within it. This has nothing to do with ID or
origins, but it is central to the attempts by modern science (especially in
fields like psychology) to describe an atheistic world-without-God, and
thus to MN.
Robert Miller says,
>I take "special intervention" to be raising Lazurus from the dead, but most
>of God's answers to prayer accomplished by the agency of His immanence.
Yes, Lazarus was indeed special intervention. And obviously so.
But I don't see how "answers to prayer" can occur by mere "immanence"
-- instead, it seems that the actions of Joshua-and-Moses (in Exodus 20?),
with Joshua taking direct battle-action in the valley below, and Moses
praying to God on the hill above, are a good example of God's
mode-of-action in answering prayers. This seems more like "theistic
action" than a situation where God's action is limited to simply sustaining
the natural processes; during Joshua's battle the implication is that the
prayer -- and God's active "special response" to it -- made an important
difference in what happened.