Paul Arveson (
Fri, 28 Feb 97 15:20:49 EST

Ted Davis wrote:

"My problem with this type of stuff is not the emphasis
on divine immanence, but the wholesale inability to articulate
a doctrine of transcendence. This is absolutely characteristic
of the stuff being put out by Chicago at the time, and (IMO)
characteristic also of much modern Protestant writing on
theology of nature. Many modern theologians, IMO, want
to affirm a voluntarist view of God (that the world was
a free product of creative activity), yet they deny IN EFFECT
that this is so by denying God genuine transcendence over
the laws of nature."


Bravo, Ted, for pointing this out. I note that there is a lack
of emphasis on transcendence also in modern conservative
Christian literature. Typically, such literature gives
lip service to the doctrine of God's transcendence,
but then concentrates on the details of creating some particular
species or some molecule. E.g. see Gordon Mills' recent article
in Perspectives in which he acknowledges God's sustaining of
everything (and that therefore he is not advocating a
God-of-the-Gaps), but then spends most of his words describing
details of the structure of cytochrome-c from various animals as
evidence that God fiddled with the genes.)

It seems that, in America at least, practically everyone
seems to assume that God must do some mechanical fiddling with
particular things in the Creation in order to be God. Maybe
this frame of mind originated in the 1920's, as you described.

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist Code 724, Signatures Directorate, NSWC
9500 MacArthur Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817-5700
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-4511 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)