Response to: What does the creation lack?

From: Peter Ruest (
Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 11:15:29 EST

  • Next message: D. F. Siemens, Jr.: "Re: Response to: What does the creation lack?"

    george murphy wrote:
    > 1) Some care is needed in defining "miracle". I am uncomfortable
    > with the suggestion of "huge" numbers of miracles.

    I concur that defining "miracle" is difficult. And so is defining an
    "intervention" by God; are they co-extensive? I think we agree that God
    is (a) responsible for keeping in existence all of creation
    (preservation), and that he is (b) active in all "natural" events and
    processes (using "secondary causation" conforming to our "natural
    laws"). There are (c) decisions by creatures given some freedom of will
    and corresponding responsibility, in dependence on (a) and (b). Would it
    be reasonable to define all other events as (d) divine "miracles" or
    "interventions", which would not happen on the basis of (a), (b), (c)
    alone? I would then see divine providence as the combination of (a),
    (b), (d).

    I am not convinced there could or should not be very large numbers of
    events (d). Let's consider petitionary prayers, which Jesus encourages
    us to use. If, as a consequence of such a prayer, nothing happens that
    would not have happened anyway on the basis of (a), (b) and (c), then
    what is the use of petitionary prayer? If its only effect were on our
    own souls always - educational or otherwise -, I think Jesus would have
    said so. The only alternative I see is that God (in the cases he wants
    to grant us what we asked for) usually performs a miracle-2, or
    occasionally even a miracle-4 (defined in my post of 28 Nov).

    Of course, this doesn't change anything in the way we should do science,
    as the regularity of creation's working remains.


    > 2) As I've noted before, how God acts - or doesn't act - at the
    > quantum level is something that needs to be dealt with even apart from the
    > possible role of such action in evolutionary processes.

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