Re: Origin of "God of the Gaps"

Murphy (
Sat, 30 Aug 1997 21:07:25 -0400

Joel Cannon wrote:
> Could someone tell me who first used the term "God of the Gaps?", or
> tell me the oldest work you have seen it cited in?
> I recall Bonhoeffer discussing a God of the Gaps mentality in "Letters
> and Papers From Prison" (I believe Richard Bube makes references to
> Bonhoeffer in "The Human Quest", but I don't recall if he used this
> term.

Sorry, I haven't come up with a lot. As far as I can tell
from a quick re-look, the phrase Bonhoeffer actually uses is "God as a
stop-gap" in _Letters & Papers ..._ (pp.103-104 in the Fontana edition).
To be precise one would have to check the German, which I don't have at
hand now. _The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology_ has a
short article on "God of the Gaps" but no history of the phrase. I
suspect where one needs to look is in literature connected with the
"Death of God" debates of the late 60s.

George L. Murphy