Re: phil johnson and charles hodge

Bill Hamilton (
Tue, 28 Jan 1997 14:48:43 -0500

Ted Davis wrote

>What we need to do,
>as Christians, is to take the offensive with creative
>theologies that recognize the fundamental role of
>uncertainty, within boundaries, and ask the right
>questions about sovereignty and design, rather than
>continuing to parade the old answers in clever new

While I'm not good at creative theology, I agree that our theologies ought
to recognize that there is nothing about random events, constrained to a
scope determined by God's sovereign will, that violates God's sovereignty.
Consider a simple example from basic physics. Suppose I desire to empty a
glass of water and I do it by slowly tilting the glass at such a rate that
the water flows out of the glass at a more or less constant rate that is
much slower than the typical brownian motion velocity of the water
molecules. From my point of view everything is absolutely predictable.
Given the rate at which the water is flowing over the side of the glass I
can predict quite accurately when all the water in the glass (except of
course for some molecules that stick to the sides of the glass and some
that evaporate) have been emptied from the glass. However, suppose I empty
the glass again and you observe the process from the point of view of one
of the water molecules. Your motion will seem to be totally random -- the
normal free path motion followed by rebounds when collisions occur. You
will not be able to tell that the water is being emptied from the glass
until you go over the edge, at which time your velocity would become large
enough to be noticeable in comparison to the brownian motion. So I submit
that point of view and objectives make a huge difference in judging the
effect of randomness on a process.

Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr, Ph.D. | Staff Research Engineer
Chassis and Vehicle Systems | General Motors R&D Center | Warren, MI
810 986 1474 (voice) | 810 986 3003 (FAX) | (home email)