" I just had the occasion to be re-reading Charles Hodge's chapter on
providence in Systematic Theology. At the end of a long discussion on
the various speculations about God's interactions with the creation in
his governance and sustenance, he writes:
"All we know, and all we need to know, is, (1.) That God does govern all
his creatures; and (2.) That his control over them is consistent with
their nature, and with his own infinite purity and excellence." (p. 605)"
That's an interesting quote, and I might even be in agreement with it.
The operative word is, of course, "know." What it implies is that all
else is human speculation, and imperfect "approach to knowledge."
I seem to spend a lot of my time on such things.
At the end of Terry's post he write: "He (Howard) cannot see how God can
control without coercion. (I'm not sure I can either, but I affirm that
it is possible since both scripture and experience tell us so.)"
I'm entranced enough by Griffin that I see "persuasion" as a better term
than "coercion." In my own case, my experience(s) appear to support
"persuasion" rather than "coercion." So I'd observe that God's influence,
on me at least, has been of the former rather than the latter. Looking
into scripture, I seem to perceive the same thing. Granted that Jonah's
"persuasion" was rather forceful!
John Burgeson (Burgy)
(source data on issues of science/theology, quantum mechanics,
baseball, ethics, humor, great cars, a story of God's
intervention into the natural causation of the universe, etc.)
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