Re: [asa] Wells and traditional Christianity

From: Merv <>
Date: Fri Sep 01 2006 - 08:24:38 EDT

Iain Strachan wrote:
> I find the "literal" interpretation to be something that is way too
> hard to stomach; namely that everything was perfect and there was no
> death and suffering. Then Adam & Eve go and eat a piece of fruit that
> they were told not to. As a result God puts the most appalling curse
> on the whole of creation, not just Adam and his progeny, and animals
> start eating each other and inflicting suffering on each other. I
> have sympathy with Darwin, who said:
> I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would
> have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention
> of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars
I have the same sentiments as you express here, but it seems to me that
our position is still not off the hook. If God could not have designed
such a thing as what is described above, then it must have been a result
of the fall, right? Even if it wasn't a literal piece of fruit, it
still happened -- and was caused by humans. So don't we still have the
burden of explaining that either: something mankind did resulted in
the wasp feeding on living caterpillars, or else God designed it to
happen that way and our distaste for such a thing is not reflective of
God's perspective when He declares "and it was very good". To wiggle
out of one of the two above options seems to leave only the evolutionary
philosophy that there is no design in creation and God just threw the dice.

> Iain, how would the TE concept of God be different than the deist
> version of God? From the YEC point of view, I can see why they would
> regard those positions as suspiciously alike.
> --merv
> For a TE, God is someone who does intervene, you pray, you get
> answers, and miracles happen. Francis Collins gives a very good
> discussion in his book of miracles, and why it's feasible for a
> Christian to believe in miracles. As I understand it, a deist just
> proposes a creator who doesn't care or intervene in nature. I
> regularly pray for people (who are ill, or seeking God, or whatever),
> for example. What God doesn't do (according to the TE position), is
> continually meddle in the way nature works ( e.g. to assist the
> evolution of a particularly tricky organism). Miracles are God
> showing His love for us, not the mundane process of making stuff work.
> Iain
So love and human activity make the difference? The critical eye of
the methodological naturalist (scientific version -- "soft" version --
please let's not start all that again) would still say that
intervention is intervention whether or not somebody asked for it or it
was to demonstrate love to us. I'm not trying to make problems for
you -- I'm just trying to work it out like you are and finding this
discussion productive.

Off to school for me ... won't get back till late tonight central U.S.


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Received on Fri Sep 1 08:23:32 2006

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