From: George Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 04 2003 - 13:33:21 EDT
Steve Petermann wrote:
> George wrote:
> > There's a big difference between kenosis, which is the idea that God
> > God's own self, and the process concept that God is inherently limited.
> > With kenosis,
> > one says /inter alia/ that the existence of suffering &c in the world is
> due to God's
> > decision to create a world which has its own integrity and relative
> autonomy -
> > Polkinghorne's "free process defence" - & that God pays the price for this
> by sharing in
> > the suffering of the world, preeminently in the Incarnation.
> Seems to me, this notion of relative autonomy drives too much of a wedge
> between God and creation. The whole idea of free will is incredibly
> difficult to accommodate with our current scientific understanding. The
> only tact is to create a mind/body dualism that is not science friendly at
> all. Standard theisms and process thought do this. Seems to me that human
> freedom can only be a reasonable concept when it is framed within some sort
> of monism or mystical union with God(who is free).
Kenosis means that God refrains from exerting the kind of control of creation
that he could exert - in scholastic language, God exercises only his "ordained" & not
his "absolute" power. It's like a parent refraining from doing everything he/she could
to control a child so that the child can actually do some things and learn how to
function. But there is no external "wedge" that forces either God or the parent to act
(or not act) thus.
I think that any one of us, standing at the counter in Mickey D's, believes and
feels that he/she can actually make a real choice about whether to get a Big Mac,
Chicken McNuggets, or something else. It takes a kind of dogmatic defiance to insist
that that sense of choice is really an illusion. & at a more theoretical level, the
kind of "loose-jointedness" in connections between events that both quantum mechanics
and chaos theory have revealed seems to give some room for both creaturely & divine
freedom of action without any need to think that the laws of physics are violated.
George L. Murphy
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