Re: It's the Bible or evolution

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Fri Sep 30 2005 - 10:58:39 EDT

The basic problems with most discussions of what God could or couldn't do is
that they depend on preconceptions about God which have little to do with
the Christian belief that God is the Holy Trinity whose character is
revealed most fully in Jesus Christ. & this is true also of Christians who
believe in the Trinity because they think that they can talk about God as
creator before they get to christology.

The basic point that I have tried to insist on in all these discussions - to
the extent that some here may be quite tired of it - is that we can speak
responsibly about how God might or might not act in the world only if we
take seriously the way in which God has acted in Christ, & specifically in
the event of the cross. & if God chose to limit himself there, if God's
activity there is hidden, then we should not be surprised (though we cannot
insist upon this) if God limits himself & is hidden in his work in the world
generally. If God "did not spare his own Son" then we should not expect him
to be some kind of efficiency expert in his actions in the world.

I agree with Ted's endorsement of (1) below but the language about God being
"higher than us," while certainly true in one sense, is misleading. The
cross shows that God is willing also to be _lower_ than us. The idea that
we can find God by looking for the highest, most glorious, most exalted, &c
aspects of reality is a common notion but it becomes very quickly just the
construction of the kind of deity we would like to be. The true God has to
be recognized first in the one who took the form of a slave.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ted Davis" <>
To: <>; <>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2005 8:49 AM
Subject: Re: It's the Bible or evolution

>>>> "Randy Isaac" <> 09/29/05 9:04 PM >>>writes:
> I always cringe when I hear an argument about what a designer or creator
> would have or would not have done. We can hardly presume to know what
> reasons a creator might have or whether something was done without any
> reason at all.
> Ted replies:
> Cornelius makes the same point--indeed, it's a central point to his whole
> approach.
> Darwin on the other hand, when he compared evolution with special creation
> in the final chapter of the Origin of Species (it's worth rereading, if
> anyone hasn't read it recently), has to make some assumptions about what
> sorts of things would favor creation over evolution, and vice versa--in
> order actually to do a comparison of the two views.
> I'm sympathetic with Randy and Cornelius, but then the only recourse is to
> say this.
> (1) We can't make any assumptions about what a creator would/would not
> have
> done relative to making creatures.
> (2) Thus, anything we find is consistent with special creation.
> (3) Thus, special creation is wholly untestable.
> (4) Thus, we can *never* put special creation on the same level with
> evolution--that is, we can *never* consider it as an alternative
> scientific
> explanation of the same data.
> Special creation then becomes entirely and only a faith position, emptied
> of
> content for purposes of comparing it with an alternative view to account
> for
> data.
> Is something wrong with the reasoning above? Is it perhaps (2) or (3) or
> (4)? Or the links between them? If so, I don't see it.
> My own voluntarist theology leads me to like (1). I don't like to put
> rational restrictions on God, I think God is higher than us and does what
> God wants to do. I've often argued for this, and I think that view of God
> was crucially important for the formation of the modern scientific
> enterprise in the first place. But I am unwilling to push it this far, so
> that it becomes impossible to draw observable consequences from the claim
> that special creation is true/false vis-a-vis evolution.
> Ted
Received on Fri Sep 30 11:00:46 2005

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