RE: Faith, Evolution, and Tax Dollars?

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Tue Apr 06 2004 - 10:14:55 EDT

(Physicists John) Wheeler added that, last year, he "had the good
fortune to have a heart attack. I call it good fortune because it
reminded me that time is limited. Philosophy is too important to leave
to the philosophers, and I had better get busy on the most important
question: How come existence?" Physics Today, May 2002 issue.

This ontological question has many answers and one must choose the one
one finds appropriate and consistent with one's assumed worldview. No
one can give a definite answer to it. There is no sense in arguing
different assumptions, which may be all on equal footing

Moorad

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of George Murphy
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 9:54 AM
To: Howard J. Van Till
Cc: Ted Davis; asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: Faith, Evolution, and Tax Dollars?

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.

                                                        Shalom,
                                                        George

George L. Murphy
gmurphy@raex.com
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
Received on Tue Apr 6 10:15:05 2004

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