Re: The lot is cast ...

George Murphy (
Sun, 07 Dec 1997 18:59:18 -0500

George Andrews wrote:

> Perhaps some of our theologian friends could comment on the notion of
> God self limiting Him/Hersef. Do we see this in the incarnation or in
> God losing the wrestling match to Jacob? Perhaps God has granted a
> measure of genuine freedom to nature in order to interact with - as
> well as observe. Of course, as scripture is a clear record of, He
> always governs and even destroys through judgment, influence,
> limiting and redeeming errant bifurcation's in human history.

The "kenosis" = emptying of the divine Son in Phil.2 points to
such a voluntary self-limitation of God. If the Incarnation really
shows us what kind of God God is, & is not simply a strategem, this
suggests that God's activity in general may have such a kenotic
character. The idea that God limits the divine action to what can be
accomplished through natural processes obeying rational laws has thus
been called a "kenotic" theory of divine action by Ian Barbour. But
if the "natural processes obeying rational laws" are those of quantum
theory and, in the classical domain, have the sensitivity to initial
consitions characteristic of chaos theory, God has a certain amount of
freedom even within these self-imposed constraints.
Scripture shows a certain amount of divine flexibility. God
states in no uncertain terms that Nebuchadrezzar is going to destroy
Tyre (Ez.26-28). Later God says that this didn't work out &, with no
apology, God promises Egypt to Nebuchadrezzar as a reward for his
efforts (Ez.29:17-20).
George Murphy