Re: What is "special creation"?

From: george murphy (
Date: Sat Dec 08 2001 - 13:12:31 EST

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    "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"

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