Re: Science and Theology

From: Peter Ruest <>
Date: Thu May 06 2004 - 00:48:55 EDT

Don Winterstein wrote:
>... Peter Ruest and I
>appear to differ with most on this forum in believing that living
>physical beings are just too darn complicated to have emerged in all
>their messy glory entirely through the functioning of natural processes
>without some explicit intervention from God. Peter (if I understand
>correctly) believes the input was in the form of persuasion, whatever
>that means, while I'm drifting towards a belief in the need for some
>form of coercion--making stuff do what it ordinarily would not have been
>capable of doing...

Persuasion and coercion are Howard Van Till's terms. He seems to have
derived them from process theology, with which I disagree (see my recent
discussion with him). I accept it as quite natural that God would
occasionally make "stuff do what it ordinarily would not have been
capable of doing", i.e. plain miracles. But, at the same time, I believe
that God is careful not to yield to our craving for "a sign" (Mat.
16:4). He desires us to believe in him and love him out of a free
choice. Furthermore, he gave humans the task of subduing the Earth and
taking care of it. This requires us to be able to do science, which
implies a reliable, repeatable working of the laws of nature - without
any discernable divine interference (beyond keeping them existing and
working). Nevertheless, even with this self-restraint, God has his
"hidden options" of guiding natural processes to virtually any degree he
chooses, without science being able to discern it, because he can work
within the indeterminacy of quantum processes. My reasons for this
proposal are twofold: theologically (according to the Bible), there is
much "creating" going on in God's continual providential dealing with
his creation; and scientifically, there is the extremely complex
biosphere produced by the extremely weak and slow mechanism of natural
selection of random mutations.

>None of us may be even remotely close to the truth, but we need models
>of origins for the same reasons that people have always needed myths.
>Besides, if you have a model, you may eventually come across data that
>will tell you you were wrong. No model, no progress.

I sympathize with your modesty and agree that all of our models are
still far from the whole truth (1 Cor. 13:12: "now we see in a mirror,
dimly"), but I don't think believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, and in the Lord Jesus Christ need myths.


Dr. Peter Ruest, CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
<> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
"..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)
Received on Thu May 6 00:50:56 2004

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