From: Alexanian, Moorad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 12:28:51 EDT
It seems to me that “formational history of the universe” leaves no room for human free will and, more extraordinary, free will even for the Creator. I see no difference between deism and all such speculations. Not to say that if Christ is part of the “formational history of the universe, then certainly Christ cannot be the Creator as stated in the Gospel of John, in full agreement with the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, etc. Juggling words like “functional integrity of creation” seems to add equal confusion.
From: email@example.com on behalf of George Murphy
Sent: Thu 9/18/2003 12:04 PM
To: Howard J. Van Till
Subject: formation & incarnation
Howard J. Van Till wrote:
> From: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Questions for Howard and the supporters of RFEP:
> > I am still hoping for an explanation of how we are to understand basic
> > Christian doctrines in light of the RFEP. It seems to eviscerate all the
> > fundamental doctrines like Election, Virgin Birth, Prophecy, the
> > Incarnation, Miracles of Christ and the Resurrection.
> It's really quite simple. The RFEP is purposely stated in a way that, a)
> limits its application to matters of the formational history of the
> universe, and b) avoids a categorical denial of supernatural divine actions........................................
Perhaps part of the problem here has to do with how to delimit "formational
history" from the rest of the history of God with creation - or indeed whether such a
strict separation is possible. In order to make that separation one would have to
assume that the Incarnation (if one believes that there was one) & events preparatory
to it & following from it are not essential to the formational history of the universe.
That would be the case if one held - to use traditional language - that Christ would not
have come had humanity not sinned. But if the Incarnation is not solely a remedy for
sin, if it in fact is the _purpose_ of creation (cf. Ephesians 1:10) then the
formational history of the universe in its full sense has to include the coming of
Christ & its subsequent effects.
Howard's older & more limited phrase, "functional integrity of creation," to
some extent avoids this problem.
George L. Murphy
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