Re: History and Goals (for TE)

Garry DeWeese (
Tue, 23 Jun 1998 20:53:11 -0600

At 08:14 PM 6/23/1998 -0600, Keith B Miller wrote:
>Thanks to Craig Rusbult for compiling the list of posts that probed the
>meaning of divine action within a theistic evolution context. It was
>helpful to me to be able to read through them at one sitting.
>Just a couple of comments:


>Lastly, I think it is important to not visualize God's action in creation
>as though He were Himself a physical entity. Much of the images of God
>nudging, or manipulating, or intruding into creation gives me the
>impression that God is acting as though He were a physical cause. This
>action is then seen as either being in principle detectable (as
>astronomically improbable events or a casual breaks) or to be found in
>nature's indeterminancies (at the quantom level for example). Why must
>there be an apparent reserved place for God's action within our scientific
>description? How can we even possibly conceive of how spirit interacts
>with the physical? We don't even have a clue as to how our own spiritual
>nature relates to our bodies - or to how our minds and wills relate to our
>Any responses?

I am reminded of what Thomas Aquinas said about God's omnipresence:

God is present in all things; not indeed as part of their essence, nor as
an accident; but as an agent is present to that upon which it works. . . .
Therefore as long as a thing has being, God must be present to it. . . .
No action of an agent, however powerful it may be, acts at a distance,
except through a medium. But it belongs to the great power of God that He
acts immediately in all things. . . .
God is in all things by His power, inasmuch as all things are subject to
His power; He is by His presence in all things, as all things are bare and
open to His eyes; He is in all things by His essence, inasmuch as He is
present to all as the cause of their being.
(Summa Theologica 1a.8)

I believe one very fruitful area in which philosophical theology, biblical
exegesis, and science will cooperate in the coming years is in developing
an understanding (a coherent model) of God's providential workings in
creation. Much of interest on this subject has been posted here recently.
I look forward to the continuation.

Garry DeWeese