Re: God as tinkerer

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Wed Aug 24 2005 - 16:09:56 EDT

Don,
You raise interesting points in everyday language. However, within a
strict context, you are making the eternal God to be confined in time.
This is inconsistent, producing nonsense. I'm doing my best as a logician
to maintain coherence.
Dave

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 02:55:41 -0700 "Don Winterstein"
<dfwinterstein@msn.com> writes:
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
To: 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 16:24:13 2005

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