Re: Coercion

From: <Dawsonzhu@aol.com>
Date: Fri Apr 09 2004 - 20:18:09 EDT

Josh (xzg3@cdc.gov) wrote:

> Are there any clues from scripture or our own thinking as to why God
> would have chosen parting of waters rather than enabling the Israelites
> to traverse the surface of the water and denying such ability to their
> pursuers? But more importantly, are there any irrefutable witnesses to
> miracles in our world today? Is there any evidence why a vaccination
> volunteer should neglect telling a superstitious African that his gods
> will more than likely not cure him of ailment?
>
>

It would be difficult to prove a miracle at least in current
times. The first problem is we cannot ask God to do it again
with our scientific probes and instrumentation all geared up
to test it, and we cannot ask for it repeatedly. There is
also the problem that we don't have a mechanism for the
process of miracle intervention between God and the world.
It seems God will not submit to our inquisition. Moreover,
even in such instances as we might be able to offer evidence,
in principle, most such examples could also be explained as
highly improbable events, which is insufficient evidence that
God __actually__ intervened.

We are asked in short to take God on faith, not as fact.
Yet that has always been the case hasn't it? Sennacherib
could have lost to king Hezakaih simply because of disease,
but the timing was right, and the message was right. He
might have been right back there the next year had he had
a temperament more like Pharaoh of Egypt.

I think this is one of the reasons that process theology has
some appeal because we do not observed extensive examples
of irrefutably coercive events in everyday life, only the
hidden and the mysterious examples of our own lives and the
lives of others.

If you consider some 4000+ years of history clearly described
in the scripture (independent of the billions of years of
the total history), there are scant few grand coercive
miracles on a per-generation measuring scale.

So regardless of the extent of coercion, it is clearly not
the norm for God go act coercively, even if at rare times,
God might. It is also important to reflect that even when
he purportedly has acted coercively, the people have doubted
soon thereafter, so miracles as such will prove nothing
without faith.

By Grace alone we proceed,
Wayne
Received on Fri Apr 9 20:18:59 2004

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