Re: God as tinkerer

From: Don Winterstein <dfwinterstein@msn.com>
Date: Thu Aug 25 2005 - 07:00:26 EDT

I'm not sure our logical underpinnings correctly take into account how God might (or might not) be constrained by his being outside time. As I've stated here before, I'm convinced that I've had extended personal interactions with God as Spirit. These could not have happened unless God entered my space. I conclude there's something wrong with the logic. Actually, both QM and Relativity tell us clearly that human logic is inadequate for comprehending the world. Who would be surprised if it's inadequate for comprehending God?

As a scientist I was an experimentalist; as a man of God, likewise. Experience is by far the most concrete thing; our logic must be forced to conform or be set aside if it can't.

Don
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: D. F. Siemens, Jr.<mailto:dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
  To: dfwinterstein@msn.com<mailto:dfwinterstein@msn.com>
  Cc: asa@calvin.edu<mailto:asa@calvin.edu> ; burgytwo@juno.com<mailto:burgytwo@juno.com>
  Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 1:09 PM
  Subject: Re: God as tinkerer

  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<mailto: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<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 Thu Aug 25 07:25:20 2005

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