Re: Van Till's Ultimate Gap

From: Jim Armstrong (
Date: Wed Sep 03 2003 - 14:44:30 EDT

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    This is a composite response to several postings.

    Josh Bembenek wrote:

    > However, I wonder if this same problem exists for the fully-gifted
    > creation viewpoint? What makes us think that the origin of space time
    > and the derivation of matter, energy and all of the universe is simply
    > a gap in our understanding that some future naturalistic discovery
    > won't elegantly explain, again making the "God Hypothesis" obsolete?

    If one observes a history of fairly steady replacement of apparent
    supernatural God actions with explanations that lie within the natural
    processes and resources of the universe, the fully-gifted creation
    viewpoint just sorta falls out if one takes this progression to the
    limit asking, "What if this means that all of the God-actions will in
    time fall away in favor of natural explanation?"

    On the surface, this has the seeming effect of pushing God into the
    background. Statements like, "God never ceases to act in sustaining
    Creation" suggest he's still engaged, but I really don't know exactly
    what that means.

    I think that examination of the fully-gifted creation drives us to
    eventually ask ...that's ask ...whether we have even a tenuous handhold
    on what God is really up to in Creation. Nature seems so capable, and it
    all the evidences that are generally offered as indications of God's
    active involvement in (intrusions into) the workings of nature seem on
    the whole to be so ...trivial ...against the backdrop of the whole of
    nature (not to trivialize in any way miracles we may have personally
    experienced - a different matter entirely, I think). Moreover, it is the
    whole of nature and its wonderful systems and processes and products
    that are the best evidence for what some try to establish through the
    specialized organs and capabilities of the bombardier beetle.

    Perhaps the "grand experiment" ultimately lies in the "fearsome freedom"
    we are afforded. Life overcomes the barrier of the 2nd law of
    thermodynamics. Assuming it is real, are cognition and freedom enough to
    overcome the the remaining "limitations" of nature and truly realize the
    finest of what we apparently have the potential for: to do justice, to
    love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God [active stewardship,
    active dominion]. In turn, I wonder if in turn "walk humbly with your
    God" isn't essentially summed up in, "Truly I say to you, to the extent
    that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of
    them, you did it to Me." These seem pretty descriptive of Jesus' walk on
    earth. And what of the living (and dying) redemptiveness manifest in the
    life of Jesus? What emphasis to we place on living redemptively? We
    believe that we have the "image of God" somehow embodied in us. That may
    be the real "game", and based on the results so far, if freedom is real,
    then this realization is a profoundly open question.

     From Debbie

    >The math in this universe alone is a miracle. It is phenomenal, amazing and
    >I absolutely believe it was created by a great mind. It didn't just happen.
    I am constantly awed by this. For most, the circumstance that a
    mathematical expression can map with any precision at all to the
    behavior of the natural world is not just underappreciated, it's
    completely un-appreciated, quite below the screen of awareness. That it
    should map with expressions that contain only a few constants of
    proportionality (those universal thingies) and expressions involving
    only integers or ratios or integer or ratio exponents is absolutely
    stunning (the force relationships, Kepler's laws of orbital mechanics,
    Maxwell's equations, etc.). In my opinion, the fact that math maps to
    reality at all, and to this extent is loaded with implications about
    what God expects of our rationality and the whole matter of
    discoverability of things both natural and spiritual, and ultimately of

    And just to make things really interesting, and further impress and
    confound us, there's that hidden jewel, the eerie relationship e^i(pi)
    = -1 , a bizarre absurdly simple tour-de-force relationship involving
    exponentiation and transcendal, imaginary, and negative numbers. Oh, and
    then there's that matter of our being able to even think in the abstract!

    It's really, really hurts my head any more to think of this as coincidental.


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