Re: What does the creation lack?

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Fri Oct 26 2001 - 09:33:48 EDT

  • Next message: James W Stark: "Re: What does the creation lack?"

    In a moment of mild frustration I had said:

    No postings, however, on Ruest's proposal. What's the deal here? Has the
    ASA's interest in the character of divine action and its relation to science
    been exhausted?

    To which George replied:

    The topic of divine action is important but we can't discuss everything all
    the time.

    Right, but I confess I was getting weary of the flood of postings that were
    on topics (no matter how important they might be) that seemed far from the
    heart of the ASA science/religion agenda.

    Thanks for your comments on the Ruest proposal to place God's creative and
    providential work in what I might call the "shadows of scientific ignorance"
    where we could never be certain whether it was the Creator or some creature
    that did the acting. As such, you are correct to place it in the same camp
    as earlier proposals by Wm. Pollard, Bob Russell and John Polkinghorne.

    For the purpose of getting comments from other perspectives on this type of
    proposal, I didn't offer much in the way of critical evaluation in my
    earlier post. The one thing I did, however, was to place it in the context
    of all proposals that are built on the presumption that the creation is
    lacking something so that divine compensation becomes necessary. Where
    Ruest's proposal differs from the more common episodic creationist
    approaches is (1) that it does not build on the idea of capability gaps in
    the creation's formational economy, and (2) it includes the theologically
    motivated expectation that divine creative/providential action be
    non-coercive or non-miraculous.

    Actually, (1) needs to be stated more carefully. Although Ruest says there
    are no capability gaps (the creation is able to do the things that need to
    be done) he then adds the idea that the capabilities that are present are
    too inefficient to get the job done. In place of capability gaps Ruest seems
    to be proposing improbability barriers. I am inclined, however, to see these
    improbability barriers as a subclass of capability gaps. In either case, God
    must act in order to compensate for what the creation is unable or unlikely
    to accomplish.

    Howard Van Till

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