Re: Natural Theology, Unguided Processes and Apologetics

Eduardo G. Moros (
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 09:35:59 -0500

Mr. Terry Gray,

Thanks for your very illuminating contribution. I have a word of caution in
regards to your comments on I.D.

Yes, I.D. could very well (and I can almost assure you that it will if it is
not already) become a form of idolatry - namely - the designer is the god of
anybody. e.g., mother universe. But as Christians we must be careful in
criticizing such important work, remembering that ungodly people has used even
the bible for their evil purposes. We must remember J. Calvin and his advice
on "Science as a gift of God". In my opinion, we must support and encourage
such efforts from Calvin's point of view - the search for truth - and with
Calvin's assurance - all truth is from God.


Terry M. Gray wrote:

> Peter Vibert's appeal to Plantinga has triggered a thought that may
> clarify--Eduardo Moros' comments have come close to what I want to say,
> also George Murphy's mention of concurrence gets to the heart of the matter.
> While the distinction between mediated and unmediated acts of God is useful
> and significant, Plantinga's appeal to the chain of causation eventually
> leading to something that God does directly is perilously deistic. I would
> like to suggest, going back to the old doctrine of concurrence, that there
> is a direct (unmediated) act of God that accompanies even so-called
> mediated acts. As Eduardo Moros has suggested, if God would cease his
> sustaining work, all creaturely existence would cease. Thus even in the
> case of things that operate according to secondary causes there is a
> dependence on direct activity of God--i.e. his sustaining created things in
> their existence and in their properties and behaviors.
> I think that part of the problem here is that we want to know exactly how
> God interacts with the world. To be honest, I think that the notion of
> concurrence, that God explicitly concurs in some real way with every
> creaturely event, is a mystery. We tend to think of God as one like us--if
> we understand the rules of causation, we can initiate a complex series of
> events that will accomplish some desired end, but we are not responsible
> for carrying out all the intermediate steps. We think that God works like
> that. But the Biblical notion of the relationship between the creator and
> the creature is so much more profound. Not only does God initiate complex
> causal sequences, he also makes and guarantees all the intermediate
> processes (that we assume happen automatically or even mechanically).
> So when I say that God is intimately involved in the governing of the
> universe, I mean just that. Intimately. I tell my students that God's
> involvement in the conversion of water into hydrogen and oxygen in a
> hydrolysis reaction is NO LESS than his involvement in the conversion of
> water into wine at the wedding of Cana.
> On a slightly different note--I agree with George Murphy that the pointers
> to God found in creation are not pointers to some deity in general, but to
> the Christian God who has revealed himself in Christ in his Incarnation,
> Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension. Indeed, this Christ is the Word
> made flesh though whom all things were made. I too am troubled by the
> vagueness of the intelligent design approach (or other brands of natural
> theology). On the day of judgment (and today for that matter), apart from
> Christ, belief in the Intelligent Designer God will be (and is) just
> another brand of idolatry.
> TG
> _________________
> Terry M. Gray, Computer Support Scientist
> Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
> Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
> phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801