Re: formation & incarnation

Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 17:50:38 EDT

  • Next message: "Re: A Logical Inconsistency in the RFEP?"


    I don't agree that the Incarnation must somehow be accepted as an
    after-the-fact action by God if one does not view it as part of the
    ordinary formational economy (sensu the RFEP = Robust Formational Economy
    Principle) . As I described in a previous post in this thread, I view our
    physical evolution to God-awareness and the ongoing ordinary behavior of
    the Creation as products and part of Creation's gifted ontology, but this
    does not "require" nor necessarily logically imply that God must operate
    exclusively by those means. I think once God's creation evolved (according
    to the properties he graced it with) us humans to the point of
    God-awareness (or at least the ability for God-awareness) that he began to
    approach us and reveal himself to us by various means, some of which were
    special or miraculous. Suppose he always intended for his revelation to
    culminate in Christ (I think this is what I would describe as my belief);
    he must have delighted to watch our "ontogeny" (development) until the day
    we were ready to "hear his voice". In a sense, the beginning of scripture
    marks the day when he finally said to us, "Hello! Yes, I am here. I've been
    waiting for you. Come, let us sup with one another, and I will begin to
    teach you many wonderful things that you may delight with me in who I am."
    He had in mind to teach us Christ. In this scenario, it was inevitable
    that the RFEP would produce a being like ourselves (in the sense of being
    ready to receive his "special" revelation) AND the Incarnation would still
    have been his intended climax. Does these two ideas have to be a "problem"
    or conflict?


                        George Murphy
                        < To: "Howard J. Van Till" <>
                        m> cc:
                        Sent by: Subject: formation & incarnation
                        09/18/03 11:04

    Howard J. Van Till wrote:
    > From: <>
    > > 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
    > > 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

               Perhaps part of the problem here has to do with how to delimit
    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
    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
    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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