From: Dr. Blake Nelson (email@example.com)
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 13:15:28 EDT
Thanks for your responses, they were very helpful.
Here is an area where you can perhaps help me make a
distinction that I am finding quite hard to make since
much of this seems semantics.
Kenotic views of God, as I understand them, view God
as self-limiting. Griffin seems to take a step past
this and say that God _cannot_ do X or Y rather than
God chooses not to at a fundamental level because of
the nature of Creation and His purposes.
In the kenotic view, once choices are made at an
ontological level, consistent limitations flow from
those choices on how God interacts with the world --
the interaction of which still may involve things that
have been thought of as supernatural, but are really
within the kenotic framework of the created order and
thus not supernatural in the way the term is perhaps
misunderstood (I think the use of the term
supernatural seems primarily a semantic distinction
and not really useful in any practical effect). It
seems that one can have a kenotic view of God but not
assume on the other hand that "God can do anything"
given the limitations inherent in His choices. Of
course this gets into theodicy questions about such a
God, wherein I think one ultimately faces Liebniz's
conclusion, albeit paraphrased, that this is the sort
of world necessary to effectuate God's purposes for
this world (and perhaps the best one in that sense).
Again, that is a different view of God than a God who
is incapable because of its limited nature or limited
ontological relationship to Creation, rather than the
kenotic relationship God has chosen as the perhaps
only or best means to achieve His ends.
What would compel one (you?) to go past that kenotic
understanding to Griffin's? Ironically, it seems
Griffin is making stronger claims about the nature of
God than orthodox christianity generally does.
Can you provide a good reference for his reasons for
assuming that creation is not ex nihilio? I have
taken him not to be a panentheist as such, although at
least in panentheism you have a necessary relationship
between the Universe and God that may also place
limits on God.
BTW, I am still interested in what your take on
Griffin's stance re parapsychological phenomena is.
Thanks for your indulgence.
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