Re: God's history (Was God the interactor)

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue Sep 06 2005 - 07:38:45 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <>
To: <>
Cc: <>; <>
Sent: Monday, September 05, 2005 6:14 PM
Subject: Re: God's history (Was God the interactor)


> What I get out of George's lengthy answer is that he wants to allow God
> to be directly affected by at least the passion of Jesus.

You got it. I want to be able to speak, with Ignatius of Antioch, of "the
passion of my God." That's a fundamental datum to which our theology &
philosophy must be adapted. This may be difficult & I don't claim to have
all the answers but this will be seen as "incoherent" (as below) only if one
insists on trying to retrofit this to /a priori/ philosophical concepts.

I think that Dave is in the same position as people who greeted relativity
or quantum mechanics with claims that they were "incoherent" because they
weren't consistent with basic ideas of classical physics. I'm not a big
Kuhnian but it's fair to say that as in those cases, Christianity requires a
paradigm shift in concepts of God, eternity, &c.

> The notion of
> mutability seems to require the temporal nature of the deity. "Mutable"
> is the ability to change, and change involves before and after, that is,
> time. (I believe this fully supports my interpretation of Augustine's
> /in/ and /cum/.) I contend that this leads to incoherence. I want to
> change the emphasis to the deity being eternally the Creator, Sustainer,
> Redeemer, etc., that is, being a different sort of deity by eternal
> nature. It is possible theologically and philosophically to construct
> various notions. A number of them are consistent within their own limited
> framework. However, most of them run into trouble when the totality of
> available information is considered. Even materialism can be, within its
> own limits, consistent. But, when one looks critically at the historical
> events from 4 or 6 BC on, matters do not mesh well with materialism.
> However, materialists do very well ignoring such evidence. There are also
> Christians who insist that God has to wait to hear our prayer until we
> utter it. There are those that insist that God cannot know the future
> because it isn't yet--flying in the face of Paul's express declarations.
> I am simply doing my best to formulate a consistent view taking all the
> scriptural and creedal elements into account. I think I've taken into
> account God's awareness of the crucifixion, eternal rather than temporal,
> because God is eternal (timeless). The objections have been essentially
> "I don't want to go that far" or "I don't get it." These don't cut it. If
> I am shown a contradiction in my effort, then I'll go back to the drawing
> board.

I don't think my responses have been in either of the categories Dave
suggests & in fact think that his are of the "I don't want to go that far"
type. I.e., he affirms the Incarnation, passion & death of God the Word but
doesn't want to go so far as to say that they had any effect on God.

I'm going to be away for a couple of days & may not be able to respond then.

Received on Tue Sep 6 07:39:54 2005

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