Stuart d Kirkley wrote:
> On Tue, 28 May 2002 13:45:36
> J Burgeson wrote:
> >Stuart wrote: "This premise is debatable, and can logically be demonstrated
> >to be erroneous:
> >If one acknowledges that God is omnipotent, all power, where does the
> >power to act against His will come from? It can only come from the
> >denial that God is omnipotent, or the dubious acknowledgement that
> >there is another power apart from God, a simple error of bad logic,
> >superstition and erroneous thinking, which, if affirmed, is a clear
> >violation of the first commandment."
> >It is "bad logic" only if one assumes that omnipotence implies that
> >Godcontrols everything. But one may simply assume that while God COULD
> >control our every thought and action, He chooses not to do so. So I see
> >neither "bad logic" nor any violation of the 1st commandment here.
> If I read you right, you are saying that omnipotence is dependent on
> our assumptions. No offense, but that is kind of arrogant, and I'm
> sure you know the old 'ass of you and me' joke. What else could
> omnipotence mean, than all power, supreme control, absolute
> jurisdiction over all creation. I fear you are making the classic
> mistake of ascribing human limitation to the divine province. I mean
> no offence, John, we are all somewhat guilty of it. Christ said, Ye
> shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Do you not
> feel that God is truly omnipotent? It may be easier to understand
> omnipotence if you allow the other qualities associated with the
> supreme being, omniscience, and omnipresence, or the all-knowing,
> the only true knowledge, the only true intelligence, even the only
> Mind, and all-presence, the only presence, the true being of being,
> that which Paul spoke of in which 'we live, and move and have our
> being'. I do not think that God tries to control our thought!
> s a
> nd actions, but that we don't always listen for and acknowledge the
> true thoughts, or the liberating wisdom and intelligence which He is
> steadily supplying us with. That is why He sent His son for our
> salvation, so we might learn, through the Wayshower, how to better
> listen and obey the call of omnipotent wisdom and intelligence, which
> brings the light of salvation, and which is the benefit of having
> 'that mind in us which was also in Christ Jesus'.
There is an old distinction between God's "absolute" and God's
"ordinate" power. The first is what God could exercise, the second what God
actually has chosen to exercise. The fact that there are regularities in the
world and that what happens in the world is 99.99... % of the time in accord
with our (approximate) laws of physics indicates that God does indeed limit to
divine action to what can be described by rational laws. N.B. this
self-limitation, not something imposed upon God from outside.
& most importantly, the cross shows that God does indeed
choose to limit
himself or, as Phil.2:5-11 puts it, to "empty" and "humble" himself.
is the central revelation of God, we should expect that such volunary
for the sake of creation is characteristic of God's action in the world.
The belief that God places no limits on his own actions at first does
sound humble but in fact may be just the opposite. It is a picture of how
sinful human beings would act if they could be God - i.e., as the unconstrained
dictator of the world. But that is not the God shown to us by the cross.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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