Re: skepticism/the nature of nature

Glenn Morton (
Wed, 09 Oct 1996 19:52:53

Gene Godbold wrote (at the end ofhis post - this first):

>This little rant has been building for a while and Mr. Morton's post just
>served as the trigger...I hope he doesn't take this as some personal
>indictment of him! I use the same phraseology as he did in this post

Let me say right off, that I don't take a lot personally. If this is a rant,
it is mild indeed. A recent ICR book (Noah's Ark:... by Woodmorappe) calls me
everything under the sun from "abysmally ignorant", "naive","sloppy" (which I
am--I never pick up my socks and my office is terribly messy), "compromising"
and "intentially deceitful". Compared to that, how could I possibly take
offense at what you wrote. :-)

>This is rather hard to express, so please have patience with me...
>When we talk about the laws of the universe we are talking about divine
>realties that we understand only imperfectly and in a way that comes down
>to saying: "Things just work like that." The attraction that two objects
>with mass have for each other we call gravity and it just "works like
>that" We don't really understand them, they just are. I imagine, perhaps
>vainly, that once we are in the presence of God in Heaven we will be able
>to intuit all the laws of the universe (not that I'm saying we'll be all
>that interested in doing so at such a time!) from His character. The
>physical expressions of the universe that we call laws will be seen as
>necessary elements of Who God Is. In fact, we may find that what we call
>laws and thought immutable were really just temporary regularities that
>resulted from the Divine story that God is always telling. As George
>Murphy wrote (I think) all the laws of God may be focused on the
>Incarnation of our Lord. In this view, the Resurrection, far from being
>an aberration of the "laws of nature", was the Divinely Natural
>fulfillment or culmination of them.

I think you and I agree more than you are aware. I do indeed believe that the
laws of nature are the miracles of God which occur every day. But there is a
consistency to them which is absent in the miracles like feeding the 5000 or
the resurrection or the raising of the axe head by Elisha. All events both
the natural and the miraculous are controlled by God.

My point was that Christians limit themselves to having God instantaneously
create the world, life etc. rather than allowing for the possibility of God
working by process.

>I don't think God "plans ahead" either. Metaphors like that lead to
>deistic conceptions of the universe. Isn't God just as present at the
>beginning of the universe as he is at the end and every moment in between?
>Doesn't the verse about Him being the Alpha and the Omega mean at least
>that? He makes...He is never in a position in which He could have "made"
>as if something has some reality or existence apart from Him.

I would probably have to disagree about the planning ahead which is obviously
from our temporal perspective. Jesus was "slain from the foundation of the
world" Revelation 13:8. This definitely implies that God, prior to making the
universe (and there was a time prior to the universe or the universe itself
is eternal. God existed when the universe wasn't existing). If Christ was
slain from the foundation of the universe, then God knew at the big bang that
Christ was coming and was going to die. I can express that in no other way
than to say the God planned ahead.

>Mr. Morton's post also implies that the "laws of the universe" are some
>sort of algorithm that God set up to run on the cosmic computer with the
>goal of "life" or "design" or whatever. I'm not sure that this metaphor
>is how we should be thinking of Him He were detached from
>creation or as if it something that goes on without His continual
>involvement. I
>think God as a painter might be better than God as a programmer, tho' even
>that is inadequate since God is really "painting" each object in the
>painting continually and the canvas is God, too...
If the laws were not similar to an algorithm, we would have no predictability
in the universe. But I agree that God is certainly involved in sustaining the
universe and its laws.

Thanks for the critique.

Foundation,Fall and Flood