Re: > Re: Defining GOG & EOG

George Andrews (andrewsg@letu.edu)
Thu, 18 Dec 1997 14:03:50 -0600

Glenn Morton wrote:

> George Andrews wrote:
>
> >I agree that evidences of theistic creation are indeed everywhere - but
> only to
> >the believer; the question that science can offer an answer to is simply of
> >what form such evidences reveal themselves.
>
> Besides agreeing with Eduardo on Romans 1,

I do not see why Eduardo and you accuse me of being in "direct opposition to
Romans 1" when it is here that Paul instructs us of mankind's total depravity
with its accompanying tendency toward idolatry. Hence, unbelievers worship the
creation and only believers see the God of nature. It appears to me that you see
the emphasis of Rom. 1 as teaching a natural revelation of God for all to see.
Instead, its emphasis plainly reveals man's inexcusable guilt before God. The
thrust of Paul's argument in Romans is that mankind has SUPPRESSED the truth of
God that HAS BEEN revealed through nature because of their "wickedness." Thus,
the punishment, clearly outlined in this passage, is God giving them over to
reprobation, i.e. the unbeliever will not come to a knowledge of God through
nature. Luther taught that this abandonment by God is "not merely by God's
permission, but by His will and command, as we clearly see from I Kings 22:22-23,
where we are told that God commanded the lying spirit to persuade Ahab to act
against his will." (Commentary on Romans, Kregel pub.). Later Luther plainly
states that God "withdraws his saving hand from him (the unbeliever) and deserts
him." I do not deny man's responsibility, only his capability.

> I would like to point out that
> this point of view makes truth relative. If the truth of the creation are
> only evident to the believer, then the truth of evolution is only evident to
> the evolutionist.

I am sorry but I do not see the logical connection of this latter statement to my
original one which does not refer "to the truth of the creation" but to the
existence of God as known through creation. The latter statement regarding
evolution is a tautology whereas the former (as I originally stated it) is, I
believe, a doctrine supported in scripture (e.g. Romans 1, "having eyes you do
not see ...", Jesus; to name two.)

> This creates two truths, equal and separate; two
> realities existing side by side. One can base these two truths upon
>
> 1. presuppositions (which then makes each man's presuppositions the
> determinant for truth
> 2. reality is dual (like the wave-particle duality we have the
> creation/evolution duality)
> 3. God granting the Believer the ability to see creation but denying that
> ability to the non-believer. (which of course contradicts Romans 1)

People do believe what they want to believe; but I believe (because I want to?)
that despite the problems of epistemology, human knowledge is converging to an
approximation to the way things "actually" are; but we would never know it unless
empiricism or belief are invoked! I believe since empiricism has a spotted
record.

Statement "1" above is inevitable from a human viewpoint and thereby instructs us
of the need for revelational foundations for truth. All of human, i.e. non
revelational, knowledge is empirical - including philosophical and mathematical
thought although these latter categories require some work as to what constitutes
data. As I hope you both will agree, Christian Truth is a Person. This
establishes the primacy of relational faith which I'll define as apprehension of
the knowledge of the Triune God as revealed by the Holy Ghost to the elect. This
faith position sets itself up against the vain imaginations of the unsaved Paul
discusses in Romans.

Statement "2" above is unclear to me; reality is real; the photon is a photon, an
electron is an electron, etc.. These entities posses attributes associated with
notions of classical "particles" and "waves" but, as you know, are neither. The
particle-wave duality is merely an epistemological problem inherent in human
modeling of the subatomic world. I am sorry, but I do not follow your analogy
with creation/evolution; for creation can have occurred through evolution but
particles (classical) can not occur through waves (superposition principle set
aside since I refer to classical notions.)

Statement 3 is in need of repair for I think you meant to say "God granting the
believer the ability to see HIMSELF in creation but denying that ability to the
non-believer"; but, at least the latter part, is just what Paul states in Rom. 1
is a consequence of mankind's wickedness!

>
>
> I can't think of other options right now, but if Truth is dual, the each
> group must have a different set of observational facts to support their
> views and each must live in a different universe (which may be close to the
> case). But when these observational facts from the two camps clash and
> contradict each other we run into what must in actuality be the
> reality---TRUTH is one. By this it is meant that only one or the other camp
> can be correct.

I have not said Truth is dual. In fact, theistic evolution does not assume a
dichotomy at all, for it is an attempt to unify our present scientific
understanding with revelatory truth; and in many minds, does just that.

>
>
> I fear that the view of truth expressed in your statement is a truly
> postmodern view of truth--truth is what you want it to be.

I did not intend to make a statement on truth, but now I will reiterate my view:
Truth is a Person and mankind must be "connected" to this Person who is its
creator in order to properly interpret reality. But this is accomplished by grace
amazing!

Perhaps, postmodernism has something to say in that it is honest; for as Godel
has shown us, even logic and mathematics can not be considered absolutely true
since there may be latent antinomies; one doesn't know! But again, I see this
incompleteness as pointing to mankind's need for revelatory truth and redemption
from our darkened condition by God's grace.

> Anybody's perception is as good as anyone else's.

Glenn, I have not said this, for I hold, with Dooyeweerd and others that all of
theoretical thought is religious at center and therefore an unambiguous
description of reality is possible with a redeemed intellect. Moreover, as I
think you will agree, the scientific method does discriminate between theories
(to some degree!) unless we want to deny our senses totally.

Thanks for the engagement;

George

--
George Andrews Jr.
Assistant Professor Physics
LeTourneau University
andrewsg@letu.edu