Re: Natural Theology, Unguided Processes and Apologetics

Murphy (
Mon, 15 Sep 1997 21:42:12 -0400

Peter Vibert wrote:

> What troubles me is Lewis' next paragraph, for when he becomes specific, I
> think his argument begins to crack:
> "God creates the vine and teaches it to draw up water by its roots and,
> with the aid of the sun, to turn that water into a juice which will ferment
> and take on certain qualities. Thus every year, from Noah's time till ours,
> God turns water into wine. That, men fail to see..."
> Now I cannot see that "The miracles... perform *the very same things*" as
> that which God does every year using the vine and the sun; at least not
> according to any reasonable use of language to describe *mechanism* (which
> is what we are talking about). The jars in Cana could have stood full of
> water for aeons (evaporation excluded!) but without the *direct* action of
> God the Son, not one molecule of ethanol or taste of wine would ever have
> come into being within them! There was no vine used in the jars in Cana,
> and there simply is no latent created (nor I think proleptic) ability in
> water to become wine!

Well, the fruit of the vine - & other plants - is produced
primarily from water & carbon dioxide. (You can grow a corn plant with
the minerals in a teaspoon of earth.) Lewis isn't saying that it's
exactly the same process - otherwise one would need speeded up vine
growth &c - but close enough that one can see some kinship. Maybe this
is best seen by a contrast Lewis also notes. Jesus turns a few loaves
into many loaves but not stones into bread.

George L. Murphy