Re: Deos RFE imply deism?

Loren Haarsma (
Mon, 30 Mar 1998 10:47:00 EST5EDT


Just a quick clarification.

You wrote:

From God's point of view nature is a complex of finely tuned
>>that he commands at will. But without his sovereign command, moment by
>>moment, nature ceases to function and indeed ceases to exist. That is
>>huge gap -- but one we are not permitted to see. There might of course
>>other gaps which lie in the category of "secret things" ala Deut
>29:29. In
>>much of this discussion there seems to be an implicit assumption that
>>there are gaps, we can find them. I think that's a questionable

That "huge gap" of which you speak is not a gap in the _formational
economy_ of the Creation. This "gap" beteween non-being and being
resides at an entirely different level from the gaps of which I have
spoken. Perhaps we need to develop a "taxonomy" of gaps to avoid
confusing the several types.

While I'm at it, I think we must also be careful in using a reference to
"sovereign command." This is an employment of the 'royal metaphor' in
which God's relationship to us is likened to the relationship of a
benevolent and just king to his subjects. The sovereignty of a king is a
matter of his _authority_ and the corresponding _accountability_ of his
subjects. The king does not "control" his subjects in the manner of
moment-by-moment micromanagement.

I see too many instances in which "sovereignty" and "micromanagement"
and not sufficiently distinguished. I believe God to be sovereign, and I
am therefore accountable to him for what I do with the gift of being he
has granted me. But I am accountable for what _I_ do as a creature whose
actions are not micromanaged by any external agency. Influenced, yes;
micromanaged, no. Micromanagement would, I believe, eliminate both
freedom and responsibility.

Howard Van Till