RE: Coercion

From: Don Perrett <>
Date: Fri Apr 09 2004 - 16:30:56 EDT

George wrote:
    Saying that creation "automatically does what God wants" is IMO not a
good way to put it. It suggests that God acts _directly_ rather than
mediately in the world, and thus that creatures do not have any real agency.

Don P:
I'm not sure if I understand how "automatically" and "directly" are the
same. If you mean that a particular creation acting according to God's will
would be controlled directly by God, then God could not have created
anything. If God created anything, he did so directly, if only in the
beginning. And even if all subsequent things were created as a result of
some initial act, it would not necessarily imply that it was done directly,
but rather "indirectly" or "automatically" due to the sum of its own
properties and acting within its given abilities, and sometimes its own
will. Everything in the universe acts within certain laws, and within its
own limitations. If God creates something and then places limited functions
on it, I do not see this as acting directly or in anyway coercive.
Everything has its function, including we. Having limited choices, and
acting within certain laws or guidelines, does not take away agency although
it may limit it.

God gave us choice and therefore we struggle with the notion of coercion.
But he also gave us the choice not to choose. Which I believe is the point.
Faith and trust in God's ability to provide and protect us is all that is
needed. It is our lake of faith in him that leads us to make choices and
unfortunately the wrong ones.

Don Perrett
Genesis Proclaimed Association
Received on Fri Apr 9 16:30:32 2004

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