Re: choking on RFEP

From: <douglas.hayworth@perbio.com>
Date: Thu Apr 01 2004 - 11:47:01 EST

Ted wrote:

My sense is that, perhaps 10 years ago and almost certainly 20 years ago,
Howard's position was indeed Leibniz', that God acts in salvation history
in "miraculous" ways from time to time; but God does not act in natural
history in analogous ways. More recently, Howard apparently believes that
God does not act "miraculously" in salvation history either. At least this
is my analysis of his position. I INVITE HOWARD TO SPEAK FOR HIMSELF.

My response:
While it is certainly constructive to discuss (with Howard and others) the
merits and implications of a completely naturalistic theology vs. one that
allows for miracles with a capital "M", I think that topic is only
tangentially related to Howard's Robust Formational Economy Principle
(RFEP). I haven't read everything that Howard has written, but my
understanding is that he has always promoted the RFEP as applying to the
formational aspects of the physical Creation. The RFEP does not say whether
or not God could have or in fact has acted supernaturally on occasion in
revelation to his people. It merely states that the Creation is
sufficiently gifted to realize the physical evolution we observe without
the Creator having to act contrary to those God-given natural processes and
behavioral properties. In other words, it is consistent to hold to the RFEP
while at the same time believing that Jesus miraculously realized some very
unlikely quantum events in some jars of water at a wedding feast to change
it into wine. This type of miracle does not negate the fact that life
likely evolved from non-life or that sentient beings like humans evolved by
natural processes. Furthermore, the RFEP it is a principle, which I take to
mean that it is a general rule, not an absolute law about the mode of God's
creative work.

The fact that Howard himself apparently finds greater satisfaction in
exploring what many of the rest of us feel is an extreme theological
extension of the RFEP logic should not deflect from the usefulness and
validity of the RFEP as a general principle any more than the fact that
Darwin was an agnostic should convince us that evolution is false.

Am I missing something?

Douglas
Received on Thu Apr 1 11:47:04 2004

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