God of the gaps

Bill Hamilton (hamilton@predator.cs.gmr.com)
Thu, 19 Mar 1998 09:05:45 -0500

I have heard the epithet "God of the gaps" frequently. It seems to be a
label used for views in which God's action seems to be confined to the
voids in our knowledge. But that's about all I know about it. Do any of
you know anything of the history of this phrase? A colleague claims
Dietrich Bonhoeffer used it in one of his writings, but couldn't
immediately give me a reference. I think there are several logical flaws
with the phrase itself -- with the connotations people draw from it -- and
I'm writing an article on them. But I'd like to know more about the
history of the phrase itself before I publish. Sorry for the vagueness of
this, but most of what I know about "God of the gaps" has been gleaned from
seeing it used (sometimes against me :-)) in the heat of an argument.
Bill Hamilton
Staff Research Engineer
Chassis and Vehicle Systems
GM R&D Center
Warren, MI