Craig Rusbult wrote:
> An alternative to Loren's categories is to view MIRM, STA and MTA on a
I often use such a continuum when considering the varieties of God's
interaction with creation; it's helpful.
> If a theist believes in a totally-MIRM evolution (which I consider DE),
> does this automatically convert it into TE?
IMO, the transformation from DE to TE boils down to this: Mindful
Intention. For TE, mindful intention can be achieved in a variety of
ways. (I mentioned "designed outcome," "determined outcome," and
Your posts seem to put MIRM under the banner of deism. Like Terry Gray,
I have problems with that. Consider the doctrines you mentioned:
Sustenance, Concurrence, and Governance. MIRM must surely fall under
sustenance and Concurrence. If humans can devise computer programs
employing random elements to achieve a desired outcome, God can
certainly design systems where MIRM achieves what he mindfully intended.
Realizing that MIRM falls under the doctrines of sustenance and
concurrence begins to move MIRM from deism into theism. But there is an
even more important point lurking in "concurrence."
Everything that happens by MIRM, every little detail, still happens
within God's will. This would seem to follow logically from God's
omnipotence. I frequently wonder whether the distinction between MIRM
and STA is even useful! (given the doctrine of omnipotence)
I'll keep using such a distinction, however, because I can imagine that
there is a difference (from God's perspective) between, say, when the
eleven apostles cast lots to choose Matthias, and when my friends and I
drew straws to see who would have to wash the dishes. Someday, perhaps,
this list can debate whether such a distinction is theologically
justified. For now let's keep some distinction between STA and MIRM ---
provided we don't forget that MIRM events are still every bit within
God's will. (I would prefer a different name for it, but for this post
I'll keep using MIRM.)
If someone believes that cosmological & biological history was "100%
MIRM" --- MIRM within the context of sustenance, concurrence, and
mindful intention --- *and* believes that God exerts "additional"
theistic action (STA and/or MTA) in human life and human history, I
would call that belief theistic evolution (or evolutionary creationism)
rather than deistic evolution.
I suspect, however, that most TEs on this list believe in some amount of
STA in pre-human history. And I'd be willing to bet that Howard Van
Till would say that "Functional Integrity" as he envisions it can
include quite a bit of STA.
> If God wanted humans to have certain characteristics (mental, emotional,
> physical,...), could MIRM-deistic evolution accomplish this?
My scientific intuition is that some STA (or MTA) during pre-human
history is required to accomplish this. I'll be interested to see, over
the next few decades, whether evolutionary psychology (the scientific
field relating genetics and neuroscience, *not* the pop-psych junk
usually pushed under that name) will shed any light on that question.