Re: History and Goals (for TE)

Craig Rusbult (
Sun, 21 Jun 1998 01:19:53 -0500

David asks,

>Practically, how much difference is there between theistic action being
>merely present and being predetermined?

and then answers (at least partly),

>Obviously, Armenians
>will take some exception with respect to human choice,... <snip>

Yes; are we pre-programmed puppets, or do we have some freedom?

David says,

>I should make it clear that I am
>not endorsing a deistic "God wound it up precisely and let it go" but that
>He is actively involved and that if He were not, nothing would exist or

If theistic action (TA) is restricted to "initial design-and-creation TA"
and "sustaining TA" (combined, these are what I'm calling "foundational TA"),
this is very difficult to distinguish from deism or determinism.
With this view, for example, how should a Christian think about prayer
and God's response to prayer? Does prayer make any difference? Does God
respond to prayer with "active TA" (either miraculous-appearing or, more
commonly, normal-appearing) that "makes a difference" in history? (makes
a difference, compared with a deistic or totally deterministic history)

>What I am asserting is that He was not surprised by or reacting to

Isn't there a difference between being "surprised" by events that would
contradict His foreknowledge, and "reacting" (at least from the perspective
of human space-time perceptions and intuitions) to events, such as prayers?