Re: RFEP and the Heart of Christianity

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 12:24:30 EDT

  • Next message: Alexanian, Moorad: "RE: formation & incarnation"

    > From: Walter Hicks <>
    > "Howard J. Van Till" wrote:

    > The formational economy of the universe is sufficiently robust (amply
    > equipped) to bring about the actualization of every kind of physical
    > structure and living organism that has appeared in the universešs
    > formational history without need for any supplemental acts of divine
    > form-imposing intervention.
    > Having reviewed what the RFEP actually says, or does not say, I find the
    > following questions outside of its limited scope.
    > SNIP
    > I guess that I am confused about reconciling things such as the
    > resurrection or any of the miracles cited in the Bible. It seems as though
    > the RFEP says that these things must not have happened. To say that they
    > might lie outside of the RFEP is to say that when the something contradicts
    > the RFEP, then it lies outside of its scope. If that were to be so, then
    > should God have directly intervened to create mankind, it would just be
    > another example of the RFEP not applying.
    > I am not trying to debate you; I am trying to understand the boundaries of
    > the RFEP.

    OK. The focus of the RFEP is the formational history of the universe -- the
    sort of things that big-bang cosmology, stellar astronomy, historical
    geology and evolutionary biology are interested in.

    Individual events that are not essential to these concerns of the historical
    sciences can, in the spirit of the RFEP's limited focus, be handled on an
    individual basis. The formation of the species Homo sapiens would, however,
    clearly be something to which the RFEP is relevant.

    The RFEP posits that form-conferring divine interventions are unnecessary
    for the formational history of the universe (after t=0) but does not
    categorically exclude them. Minimal naturalism and naturalistic theism do go
    the next step and categorically reject supernatural action. But that's a
    significant step beyond the RFEP.

    Howard Van Till

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