Re: Faith, Evolution, and Tax Dollars?

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue Apr 06 2004 - 09:54:03 EDT

Howard J. Van Till wrote:
> > If God does not determine the nature of nature, then its
> > nature is given to God as an a priori; or else it is derived from God's own
> > characteristics in some a priori fashion, as in Plato's belief that God *had*
> > to create a *good* world. God IMO did not have to create anything at all; nor
> > has the creation existed eternally with God.
> I find it difficult to imagine a portrait of God that does not include some
> "other" (a World) with which God is in loving communion.

Howard -
        I think you're moving a little too quickly here. If the world does not owe its
existence entirely to God then God is - to put it crudely & over-simply - "stuck with"
it whether he loves the world & wants to be in communion with it or not. It is belief
in creatio ex nihilo that makes it possible to say that God freely chooses for there to
be an other with whom God will be in loving communion. This is why Athanasius can say:

        "For God is good, or rather is essentially the source of goodness: nor could
one that is good be niggardly of anything: whence, grudging existence to none, He has
made all things out of nothing by His own Word, Jesus Christ our Lord."

        & as Brunner, Moltmann & others have pointed out, this can be seen as a display
of divine kenosis even in the beginning. E.g., Brunner -

        "This, however, means that God does not wish to occupy the whole of Space
Himself, but that He wills to make room for other forms of existence. In doing so He
limits Himself. ... The kenosis, which reaches its paradoxical climax in the Cross of
Christ, begins with the creation of the world."

        It seems to me here, as with theodicy, that what classical theology sees as due
to the way God freely chooses to act has to be understood in process terms as a
condition of the God-world relationship that God can't really do anything about.


George L. Murphy
Received on Tue Apr 6 10:01:07 2004

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