Re: The problem with RFEP

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Wed May 28 2003 - 14:35:40 EDT

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    >From: George Murphy <>

    > I agree with the concepts that Howard has described as the functional
    > of creation &/or Robust Formational Economy Principle (RFEP) - as far as
    > they go. The
    > theological problem with them is that they don't go far enough. By this I
    > don't mean
    > that they aren't sufficiently thorough in the ways in which they speak about
    > happening in the world through natural processes. The difficulty lies in the
    > direction: These principles, as Howard has expressed and argued for them,
    > do not have
    > adequate theological grounding.

    George's judgment here is consistent with the fact that one standard
    reaction to my presentation of the RFEP is, "Sounds like deism to me."

    As I noted in my recent PSCF article, the RFEP does not in any way entail
    deism, but evangelical Christians long for more explicit references to
    divine action than my presentation of the RFEP ordinarily includes.

    However, because the RFEP fits comfortable in a diversity of theological
    frameworks, I have found it reasonable to leave many theological issues open
    to further reflection.

    > In particular, I believe that their major problem is
    > that they are not properly grounded in christology.

    George's preferred approach is to ground the RFEP in his christology, which
    is entirely reasonable, and he does this ably. It is not my intention to
    argue against such an approach, even if I do not hold to it.

    Howard Van Till

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