Re: Response to: What does the creation lack?

From: Howard J. Van Till (hvantill@novagate.com)
Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 16:51:58 EST

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    From: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>

    DFS: So you don't like the medieval philosophers.

    HVT: That is not what I intended to convey. They obviously said a lot on
    interesting and valuable things. What I am saying is that they give us a
    good place to begin, but we need not take up permanent residence there. We
    should feel compelled to do more than repeat what they said. As I've said re
    even the writers of the biblical text, we should _do_ as they did (reflect
    on all of our human experience, including our experience of God, and
    articulate our own reflection), not simply _say_ as they said (repeat
    _their_ reflection on _their_ experience).

    DFS: 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.

    HVT: Why not add to what they contributed what has been contributed by
    others since that time? That's what we do in the sciences. Why not do the
    same in philosophy & theology?

    DFS: 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.

    HVT: To use words used before: So you don't like the contemporary
    philosophers? OK, but I think we would miss something by ignoring them.

    Cheers,

    Howard Van Till



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