Re: The Mere Creation Discussion

Richard A. Knopp (rknopp@prairienet.org)
Tue, 03 Dec 1996 12:05:12 -0800

Russell Maatman wrote:
>
> To the Groups:
> SNIP
>
> 2. Whether God "interferes" in his creation has come up several times. It
> seems to me that everyone rejects this idea--and rightfully so. The matter
> of divine interference arises in the consideration of miracles. (D. Mackay,
> in a talk I heard, said that picturing God as reaching into his
> creation--as it were--and pricking it with a pin to disturb it--is a pagan
> teaching.) I've always strongly opposed the idea of interference. Miracles
> occurred--but not by interference. (I gave a paper at the national ASA
> meeting at Eastern Mennonite College in the summer of 1954--Don De Graaf,
> do you remember?--on these matters. It was published in the ASA Journal of
> March, 1955 under the title "Science and Biblical Miracles.") Here's what
> I've been saying: We discover what God has done and describe it; the body
> of humanly-formulated law is "descriptive law." But every part of God's
> will is consistent with every other part; the sum of God's will for all of
> creation is his "prescriptive law." Prescriptive law is absolute;
> descriptive law is fallible.
>
> Paul Arveson had a point when he said: "'...and the Spirit (or wind) of God
> was moving over the face of the waters"' and "'The wind blows where it
> wills, and your hear the sound of it, but you do not
> know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is
> born of
> the Spirit.'" Paul continued: "We accept this mystery of the relationship
> of God to us in the case of our
> spiritual rebirth, but why not in the relationship of God to nature
> generally?"
> SNIP
>
> In the Lord,
>
> Russell Maatman
> e-mail: rmaat@mtcnet.net

Whether the non-interference of God is the predominant paradigm is
not of particular consolation in itself. Minority views have sometimes been
right. Regarding the claim that "miracles occurred--but not by
interference," may I say that not all miracles are biblically characterized
as a Spirit moving over the waters. For example, I find it inexplicable
(and incoherent) to take seriously the Christian notion of the incarnation
and to interpret miracles per se as "non-interference" events. For me, the
incarnation is one (but one sufficient) reason why it is not acceptable to
view "this mystery of the relationship of God to us ... generally" as a
non-interference movement of Spirit.

-- 
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Richard A. Knopp, Ph.D.
Prof. of Philosophy & Christian Apologetics
Lincoln Christian College & Seminary
100 Campus View Drive
Lincoln, IL  62656

"If God didn't exist, He would want us not to believe in Him." * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *