From: Howard J. Van Till (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed May 28 2003 - 08:43:58 EDT
To pick up on one comment by Rich Blinne sometime ago.....
I had said:
>> 6. Naturalistic theism rejects the concept supernatural divine action, but
>> at the same time enriches the concept of "natural" action to include
>> non-coercive divine action as an essential element in all events
>> that occur in the world.
> So, would your naturalistic theism include rejecting the possibility of
> miracles as I have defined above?
Mixed response. Naturalistic theism rejects 'supernatural' divine action
[in Griffin's sense of a divine overpowering of the natural, breaking the
cause/effect relationships that are characteristic of the world, the divine
as sole cause of some event] but would welcome the idea that some authentic
human experiences of the Sacred are especially revelatory. Thus, "signs and
wonders" do not require the supernatural [once again, in Griffin's meaning
> If you as scientist solely pursue natural explanation for things then we
> agree. If you expand your naturalism to include a denial of miracles, then
> we disagree.
Yes, we probably do disagree here. Part of that disagreement hangs on
differing uses of key terms [particularly 'supernatural' and 'miracle'] and
part of it flows out of differing concepts of the God-World relationship.
> I think it is important to understand that evangelicals like
> myself have a different line in the sand than others. Again, your denial of
> the supernatural particularly in the realm of science while a threat to some
> evangelicals is not a threat to all evangelicals. But, we all close ranks
> with respect to miracles.
For this and other reasons, I no longer consider myself to be a member of
the evangelical portion of the Christian community. Consistent with this, I
am no longer a member of the Christian Reformed Church. I am now an active
member of a congregation that describes itself as an "independent liberal"
congregation. I have also asked the ASA to list me as a "Friend of ASA"
rather than as a member. I believe that my institutional & organizational
memberships should be consistent with my worldview.
Howard Van Till
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