Re: RFEP, FGC and deism (again)
Wed, 14 Apr 1999 06:30:25 EDT

In a message dated 4/12/99 , Howard Van Till wrote, quoting Jonathan Clarke:

<<>From my perspective the important point to emphasis is that a fully
>gifted creation that exhibits a robust formational economy is still
>completely dependent on God as it's sustainer. It is an important part
>of the Biblical picture of creation that the world is dependent and
>contingent, and not an autonomous entity. This has been the historical
>contrast between Biblical theism and deism

Howard: I agree wholeheartedly, as I have said on numerous occasions.

Ted Davis, wrote:

<<In Howard's case, the plus (as I see it) is the very real sense of God's
wisdom in providing a very gifted creation and the very real sense of God's
goodness in continuing to sustain the creation, moment by moment.>>

Jonathan, Ted, and Howard agree that God _sustains_ creation presumably
moment by moment. I also agree. Does not this raise the question, however,
regarding the _means_ by which God carries out this sustaining activity? In
some way God must interact with the material universe. I am concerned with
the nature of that interaction, because I see no difference, in principle,
between the nature of the interaction of God in sustaining creation with the
nature of the interaction of in case of God's episodic intervention. Both
are interventions. Do not all the questions that Howard raised about the
action of God in the case of ID also apply to God's sustaining activity?

Moreover, the sustaining activity of God is motivated by God's _goodness_, as
Ted says. That depicts God's sustaining activity as a very desirable
activity. God is pictured as being somehow forced to act out of _necessity_
if creation is not a "fully gifted creation". That casts a negative tone
over God's activity. Why the difference?