Re: God as tinkerer

From: Don Winterstein <dfwinterstein@msn.com>
Date: Wed Aug 24 2005 - 05:55:41 EDT

Iain: "It seems astonishing to me that
God could create a universe that was capable of assembling itself and
lead to creatures complex enough to sense the Creator. That in itself
is enough to marvel at. But I agree that if creation breaks down from
time to time and God has to step in to help it over the tricky bits,
then that doesn't seem so good."

Burgy: "All this ignores a third possibility -- that God likes to "play" with His
creation. It may, or may not, be true -- but it ought not be summarily
dismissed. In such a scenario, God is not "tinkering" to "get things
right" but simply trying out new ideas and possibilities."

How about a fourth possibility, that God's goal in making things out of matter is to come into interactive relationships with his creatures. "Tinker" is loaded, as is the expression, "...step in to help it over the tricky bits." Both ignore the possibility that God gets his satisfaction out of interacting and relating personally. "Playing" with the creation is sort of OK but not wholly, because of suffering and death. Many of his creatures would be miffed to know that their suffering is a necessary consequence of God's play. There's a deeper motive.

And let's not forget the NT. There's a great deal of emphasis on God as interacting and responding Father. "Pray importunately" means bug God to the point where he gives in not because that was his original intent but because he's tired of the bugging (Luke 11:8, 18:1-8). Not that we need to take this picture literally; but the Bible clearly indicates that prayer affects God.

Finally--I've raised this issue before, but...--where is it written that the creation is fully capable of self-assembly? And how is God diminished if it becomes necessary for him to step in and cause a change of direction? Might it not be that creatures simply cannot be sufficiently well endowed to manage every step of the process without intervention? Such a scenario is distasteful to many scientists, to be sure, but who listens to scientists speaking on the subject of religion? : )

Don

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Carol or John Burgeson<mailto:burgytwo@juno.com>
  To: asa@calvin.edu<mailto:asa@calvin.edu>
  Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 10:19 AM
  Subject: Re: How to encourage a former creationist to persevere in faith?

  Iain wrote: "I thought David F. Siemens was closest to my own thoughts
  when he said:

>By the way, a God who has to tinker to get things right seems to fit the
>notion that the deity is not bright enough to get it right from the
>beginning. ... '

  And this is very much my own feeling. It seems astonishing to me that
  God could create a universe that was capable of assembling itself and
  lead to creatures complex enough to sense the Creator. That in itself
  is enough to marvel at. But I agree that if creation breaks down from
  time to time and God has to step in to help it over the tricky bits,
  then that doesn't seem so good."

  All this ignores a third possibility -- that God likes to "play" with His
  creation. It may, or may not, be true -- but it ought not be summarily
  dismissed. In such a scenario, God is not "tinkering" to "get things
  right" but simply trying out new ideas and possibilities.

  Burgy
Received on Wed Aug 24 05:55:51 2005

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