Re: Faith, Evolution, and Tax Dollars?

From: Howard J. Van Till <>
Date: Tue Apr 06 2004 - 17:14:25 EDT

In response to Ted I had said:

>> 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.

To which George replied:

> 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.

I don't mean to extend this discussion beyond its fruitful limits, but this
kind of theorizing about God can go in a lot of differing directions.

I could imagine, for example, the following line of argumentation toward a
conclusion just the opposite of what George here asserts: Suppose that God
brings into being, ex nihilo, a world entirely of God's own design. God has
complete control over the character of that world. It is exactly as God
wishes it to be. It has, as a consequence of God's full control, no
character traits other than what God desires -- just the sort of world that
an omnipotent and all-wise God would bring into being.

God now "freely chooses" to love that world. Big deal. Why wouldn't God love
it? God controlled every facet of its being. Where is the surprise at God's
love? Where is the virtue in loving something whose every feature was chosen
according to one's own desires?

Would it not be far more virtuous for God to choose freely to love something
whose every trait was not first imposed on it?

I'm not necessarily advocating this viewpoint, but I think this argument
demonstrates that a commendably loving relationship between God and world is
not dependent of the concept of ex nihilo creation.

Howard Van Till
Received on Tue Apr 6 17:14:34 2004

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