Re: Strange Bedfellows, Atheism and Naturaistic Theism

From: Terry M. Gray (
Date: Mon Sep 15 2003 - 13:06:12 EDT

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    "Howard J. Van Till" <> wrote:

    > >>From: "Steve Petermann" <>
    >> Could you explain what you mean by "authentic contigency"?
    >Sure. I use the term to distinguish genuine contingency (things that really
    >could have gone differently; individual events that could not be predicted
    >with certainty, not even by God) from "apparent contingency" (a concept
    >often introduced by persons who posit either that God actually controls
    >events that look contingent from our point of view or that God at least has
    >omniscient foreknowledge of the outcome of these events).


    These are theological/philosophical distinctions here, right? I
    can't think of any way of empirically knowing the difference.

    I'm not willing to give away the word "authentic" or "genuine", nor
    am I willing to take on the word "apparent" but your parenthetical
    definition/description makes your point clear. You must know that
    your use and attribution of those particular words emotionally
    charges the discussion. It appears that Phil Johnson isn't the only
    rhetorician in town.

    It needs to be emphasized that we're doing theology here. And once
    again, theological method becomes the critical issue. Are we rooted
    in scripture which at the same time affirms God's control over all
    things and his omniscient foreknowledge AND genuine creaturely action
    and the responsibility of free agents? Or are we dismissing the
    message that comes from scripture because we can't see how to relate
    the two ideas and thus we deny one or the other as something other
    than scripture becomes the controlling element in our theology
    (elimination of antimony, creaturely autonomy/free will, etc.)?


    Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
    Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
    phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801

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