Re: metaphors

Robert L. Miller (
Sat, 12 Oct 1996 03:47:40 GMT

Paul Arveson wrote
>Gene is rather vividly describing the kinds of thought processes I and many
>others have had trying to comprehend the relationship of God to nature. In
>addition to the primary advice (take an aspirin) I will offer the following
>insight that has been helpful to me:
>Dr. James Houston, in "I Believe in the Creator" emphasized that all our
>metaphors for the Creator: as Maker, King, Designer, etc. all fall short of an
>adequate or consistent description. The whole approach is hopeless, because
>creation and providence -- the relationship between the transcendent God and
>physical nature -- is a total mystery. There can be no physical
description of
>such a relationship, whether it is sudden or a process in our temporal world.
>Houston noted that it is a mark of our modern scientific attitude that
leads us
>to assume we can do this, and thence to "put God in our pocket", to comprehend
>Him, and thereby reduce the Creator to an "idol of the tribe". Rather,
>is only properly seen as a theological doctrine, revealed in Scripture.
>What ever happened to theology these days?
>There is a wonderful, freeing aspect of Houston's theological
understanding. It
>liberates us from the effort to identify a mechanical explanation. I think it
>could be said, quite metaphorically, that God can "erase His tracks" in
>to nature. It's true, as Romans 1 says, that some evidence for God can be
>in nature, but this is a general, universal, intuitive sense that is available
>to everyone at all times, not just to modern scientists. Romans 1 is
>not a mandate for the development of natural theology.
I have long had the suspicion that God has told us everything about his
creation that we are able to comprehend. I think he would tell us more but
we do not have the intellectual capacity to understand.

Bob Miller