Re: ID and Utility (THEISTIC ACTION)

Adrian Teo (AdrianTeo@mailhost.net)
Tue, 30 Sep 1997 10:58:52 -0700

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(Craig Rusbult) wrote:

> I'm wondering why there seems to be so much resistance (by Christians)
> against postulating the action of God in nature, when the Bible claims --
> over and over -- that God intervenes in the lives of humans and human
> societies, which are also a part of nature.
> In principle, is it that different to say that Acts 3 (healing the lame
> man) *was* due to theistic action, and claiming that the origin of life
> *might have been* due to theistic action?
> Should we expect science to construct an "explanation" for Acts 3?
> And if science cannot explain this event in human history, then is it
> possible that it also cannot explain some events in natural history?
> And what about the "human science" of psychology: If God communicates
> with humans (providing emotional support, wisdom, courage,...), then
> contemporary naturalistic theories of psychology are missing an important
> component. Yes?
>
> I may not understand Van Till's functional integrity (FI), but I think
> Howard believes that miracles occur in the Bible, but not in nature. Is
> this because in the Bible the action involves people (and God's decisions
> to intervene in their lives) but in nature there is no person-oriented
> motivation for God to act? {also, if there really is FI, there is no
> "need" for any action in nature}
> Is this the reason for the FI distinction? And why FI differs from deism?
>
> the essential question:
> If God is able and willing to act (when deemed appropriate) in HUMAN
> history, is there a good reason to believe that God will not also act in
> NATURAL history?
>
> And even if there should be a distinction, is it possible to draw a
> distinct line between human and natural history, especially in fields such
> as psychology?

Craig,

I do believe that God acts in ALL history. My position is that this is a
presupposition based on faith, and cannot be tested empirically. Scientific
methodology requires a distinction before an event/process can be identified,
such as natural (not designed byhumans) vs nonnatural (designed by humans).
Before "what is" can be identified, we have to know "what is not". However, my
Christian worldview tells me that there is divine involvement in all
events/phenomena/processes that exist, and therefore, no distinction is there.
ALL things hold together in Christ.

There is no distinction between human and so-called natural history with regards
to divine involvement. In order to test for divine intelligent design, one would
have to asssume that there are domains where God is not involved in - domains
where purely natural processes take over completely. Such an assumption does not
agree with Scripture.

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(Craig Rusbult) wrote:

   I'm wondering why there seems to be so much resistance (by Christians)
against postulating the action of God in nature, when the Bible claims --
over and over -- that God intervenes in the lives of humans and human
societies, which are also a part of nature.
   In principle, is it that different to say that Acts 3 (healing the lame
man) *was* due to theistic action, and claiming that the origin of life
*might have been* due to theistic action?
   Should we expect science to construct an "explanation" for Acts 3?
   And if science cannot explain this event in human history, then is it
possible that it also cannot explain some events in natural history?
   And what about the "human science" of psychology: If God communicates
with humans (providing emotional support, wisdom, courage,...), then
contemporary naturalistic theories of psychology are missing an important
component.  Yes?

   I may not understand Van Till's functional integrity (FI), but I think
Howard believes that miracles occur in the Bible, but not in nature.  Is
this because in the Bible the action involves people (and God's decisions
to intervene in their lives) but in nature there is no person-oriented
motivation for God to act?   {also, if there really is FI, there is no
"need" for any action in nature}
   Is this the reason for the FI distinction?  And why FI differs from deism?

   the essential question:
   If God is able and willing to act (when deemed appropriate) in HUMAN
history, is there a good reason to believe that God will not also act in
NATURAL history?

   And even if there should be a distinction, is it possible to draw a
distinct line between human and natural history, especially in fields such
as psychology?

Craig,

I do believe that God acts in ALL history. My position is that this is a presupposition based on faith, and cannot be tested empirically. Scientific methodology requires a distinction before an event/process can be identified, such as natural (not designed byhumans) vs nonnatural (designed by humans). Before "what is" can be identified, we have to know "what is not". However, my Christian worldview tells me that there is divine involvement in all events/phenomena/processes that exist, and therefore, no distinction is there. ALL things hold together in Christ.

There is no distinction between human and so-called natural history with regards to divine involvement. In order to test for divine intelligent design, one would have to asssume that there are domains where God is not involved in - domains where purely natural processes take over completely. Such an assumption does not agree with Scripture.
 
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