Re: Response to: What does the creation lack?

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (dfsiemensjr@juno.com)
Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 14:09:27 EST

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    Howard,
    Sorry to delay in responding, but I scanned your message just as I was
    leaving for a reunion of the Moody Institute of Science in California.

    So you don't like the medieval philosophers. So? They saw rather clearly
    what I see in the book of Job. After the comforters had given all the
    human answers, the question comes, "Who are these obfuscating fools?" The
    old boys didn't get everything right, for some answers contradict others.
    They are human, something I find inconvenient, but the best available to
    me. In contrast, contemporary philosophers suffer from tunnel vision and
    the stupid pride of thinking they can fit everything into their
    understanding. So God is restricted to the temporal understanding of
    human ability, and his being to the level of what can be studied
    scientifically. So they "solve" the problem of human responsibility by
    cutting God down to size. They never consider that this brings up a need
    to explain either how the deity and the universe began simultaneously
    (neo-Platonic emanationism? Then what is the nature of the higher deity?)
    or why did a time-bound god wait to produce a world, and what was it
    doing earlier, probably through a past eternity? I know you rather like
    process theology. But I ask you to consider what assumptions it forces on
    its adherents. I think you will conclude that it makes less sense than
    atheism, and is not compatible with the biblical statements about the
    knowledge and being of the Trinity.

    On Fri, 30 Nov 2001 08:40:21 -0500 "Howard J. Van Till"
    <hvantill@novagate.com> writes:
    From: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>

    Sorry, Howard, but your questions box God into human patterns. This is
    why the older philosophers recognized that the only way to approach the
    deity is through the via negativa. The Christian way, of course, is to
    see the Father in the Son, the only way to truly know him.

    Sorry, Dave, but the traditional answers -- which ascribe to God various
    constructed/conjectured attributes as being "atemporal", "outside of
    time", or "beyond time", or as "seeing all time at once," or as "knowing
    contingent outcomes in advance without destroying their contingency" --
    put us in a position of reciting things that have no referent in our
    experience, only in our imaginations. In that circumstance, I thing we
    may ask questions and challenge familiar mantras. Theology must be an
    active workshop for people living & experiencing today, not a museum for
    displaying only the work of "older philosophers."

    Howard Van Till



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