Re: clarification request from Re: Van Till's Ultimate Gap

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (
Date: Fri Sep 05 2003 - 14:27:43 EDT

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    On Fri, 5 Sep 2003 12:57:21 -0400 "bivalve"
    <> writes:
    > >Griffin begins with a listing of "Primary Doctrines of the Christian
    > Good News," which he affirms. The first on that list is:
    > >"1. Our world has been created by a good, loving, wise, purposive
    > God. This part of the Christian good news stands in contrast with
    > doctrines that have maintained that our world was not created at all
    > but has existed eternally...
    > >"3. The Major Distortion: Creatio ex Nihilo"
    > I am a little confused: if the world has not existed eternally, this
    > sounds like a creation ex nihlo event occurred at some point. Does
    > the world, in Griffith's usage under point 1, imply some properties
    > of its modern state, so that he envisions something akin to the idea
    > of creating out of a pre-existing chaos?
    If this is the only confusing statement you've found in Griffin's
    "theology." you're fortunate. I've read a little of it, and discovered
    that the Process Theology deity, contemporary with the universe, produced
    the universe (panpsychic rather than material ?) out of chaos. However,
    since /creatio ex nihilo/ is out, there must have been stuff to form. The
    only reasonable source is the debris of a previous universe that came to
    a bad end, which has to be expected for every universe with a deity whose
    knowledge is limited by time and which includes the unpredictability of
    chaos theory. Hence you may also expect this universe to end, not with
    the whimper of heat death, but with a sudden chaotic cataclysm. I suspect
    that Griffin hopes that this time the deity got it right and chaos will
    not happen. But since it must have happened an infinite number of times
    in the past, the odds are against it. One in infinity is hardly hopeful.
    Of course, since the deity is entangled with the material or panpsychic
    stuff, maybe the past ones disintegrated with their universes, and we got
    a new deity for this one. Could /creatio ex nihilo/ apply to god?

    I had a philosophy prof once who loved to misquote Emerson, with his own
    addition. "Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, and he doesn't
    want to be small." Seems to me that Griffin does not want to subscribe to
    a petty view.

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