Re: skepticism/the nature of nature

Gene Dunbar Godbold (gdg4n@avery.med.virginia.edu)
Thu, 10 Oct 1996 10:24:14 -0400 (EDT)

According to Glenn Morton:

> 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.

Yes, many do. But the processes of God are not necessarily what we would
perceive as "natural". God *may* not be constrained to create in a manner
that we would distinguish as wholly natural. There may be events which
cannot be understood in terms of what we label the laws of nature, but
which are understandable in terms of the character of God.

I realize this possibility would be of no comfort to those who seek to
establish how things worked naturally (i.e. us'n science types).

An interesting possibility (or maybe it's just stupid, I'm writing off the
top of my head now!): Maybe the Fall has affected our perception of God's
creating so that there is a spectrum of his acts that we just can't "see"
anymore so they look like "miracles" when they happen. Angels (for
instance) would see them as "natural".

I wrote:
> >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.

Glenn replied:
> 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.

This illustrates my point--God didn't "plan" ahead. He just "does"
everything! While we perceive the flow of time as linear, one time is the
same as another to God who is above all. He is present at the conception
of the universe (Big Bang) as He is present with us now as He is present
at the end of the universe and after. All "times" are before Him. All of
time is created by Him "all at once" as it were. It just doesn't seem
like that to us who are living the story in time. As a sacramentalist, I
believe that when I partake of Christ's body and blood, I am sharing in
the eternal sacrifice which is continually being made by Him, even though
it is happening (from my perspective) 2000 years ago. From the Divine
perspecitive, 2000 years ago is still in the eternal persent...the NOW.

But, again, I talk like God plans things too, sometimes. St. Paul talked
about how ...what He foreknew that he foreordained or predestined or
something along those lines.

I hope this makes some sense.
Gene

-- 
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Gene D. Godbold, Ph.D.                     Lab:  804 924-5167
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