Re: PJ and Saganism

John W. Burgeson (
Mon, 23 Aug 1999 13:30:43 -0600

Allan wrote:
Among writings that suggest Johnson thinks God must, as a theological
necessity, "leave his fingerprints all over the evidence" in order for
theism to be tenable, here's a quote from _Defeating Darwinism_ that
Terry Gray first pointed out to our list:
"I therefore put the following simple proposition on the table for
discussion: God is our true Creator. I am not speaking of a God who is
known only by faith and is invisible to reason, or who acted undetectably
behind some naturalistic evolutionary process that was to all appearances
mindless and purposeless. That kind of talk is about the human
imagination, not the reality of God. I speak of a God who acted openly
who left his fingerprints all over the evidence."
Clearly, a God who works behind the scenes in nature does not pass muster
with Johnson.
That's a good quotation, and, I think, fairly states the issue. I am not
uncomfortable with it, myself; I know you are, as are many here.

Did God "leave his fingerprints" at Cana? At Golgotha? I would assert
that he most certainly did. Did he, therefore, "leave his fingerprints"
elsewhere (scripture aside)? PJ thinks he did, or must have. Not an
unreasonable position to take. Did God "leave his fingerprints" in my
life at certain times? I assert that he did -- not in objective and
empirical ways I can "show" you, but certainly in ways I can testify to,
and have testified to.

Where PJ and I part company, I think, is in his apparent assertion, and
the above certainly comes close to it, that the TE position is untenable.
I happen to think it is not correct, but I'd not argue it is
unreasonable. In a couple discussions with PJ at the NTSE, we hashed over
this point.

Where Terry Gray, and Glenn Morton, and you (I think) and George Murphy
part company with me is, I think, in your position that the TE position
is the ONLY possibility and that the very idea of a God "leaving his
fingerprints" is, somehow, a very bad idea to contemplate or give any
credence to at all.

Enjoying the dialog. About ready to leave for a month. Later ...