"Howard J. Van Till" wrote:
> The term "special creation" is familiar to most of us on the list. But I've
> often wondered about the word "special" in this context. In most other
> circumstances, "special" is contrasted to "ordinary." In this case, however,
> that seems rather odd. Are we to think of two categories of divine creative
> activity, one "special" and the other merely "ordinary"?
> So, the questions for the day are:
> What does the term "special creation" mean?
> >From what source or tradition does it derive? Is its source biblical?
> theological? philosophical? scientific?
> When, and in what context did it come into use?
Michael Roberts said on this:
For Howard - Special creation is meaningless - either God creates or he
not . Whatever He creates is special, so why waste a word? I suspect it has
some roots in the early 19 Century
IMO this isn't sufficient. It's true that "either God creates or he
does not" but what is really being distinguished is different theologies of
creation. The belief that God called everything into being in the beginning in
pretty much its present form except for the effects of the Fall was of course a
traditional belief. When evolutionary understandings of creation started to be
accepted it was necessary to have some terminology to distinguish such views
from the more traditional one.
Someone else will have to supply the actual history but I think there is
a need for some distinction.
Although the term "creation" has often been used as if it were
restricted to "origination", it would be better to use it to cover both
origination (creatio ex nihilo) and providence (creatio continua). The
traditional division of the latter into "ordinary" and "extraordinary
providence" is also worth noting.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Dec 08 2001 - 13:11:07 EST