Re: [asa] Providence?

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Thu Sep 11 2008 - 16:10:04 EDT

There is always the possibility of fudging definitions, especially if one
does not want to be excluded from Christianity. However, theism and deism
both require a Creator who originates the material universe ex nihilo.
Panentheism requires a deity that modifies what is either a part of
itself or essentially connected to itself by persuasion rather than
creation. Implicit in panentheism seems to be the requirement that matter
be sensitive, panpsychism. I haven't encountered this among theists.
Dave (ASA)

On Thu, 11 Sep 2008 12:55:21 -0600 "j burg" <hossradbourne@gmail.com>
writes:
> "IOW, a panentheist is not a "TE" because the panentheist is not
> really a "theist." Fair enough."
>
> I suggest that this is not accurate.
>
> One of the better books on panentheism is RELIGION & SCIENTIFIC
> NATURALISM by David Ray Griffin. My PSCF review of this book is at
>
> www.burgy.50megs.com/griffin.htm
>
> Griffin is a panentheist, and defends that position in the book.
> But
> it has much insight whether or not one subscribes to panentheism.
>
> Burgy
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On 9/11/08, David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:
> > IOW, a panentheist is not a "TE" because the panentheist is not
> really a
> > "theist." Fair enough.
> >
> > On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 2:06 PM, D. F. Siemens, Jr.
> > <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>wrote:
> >
> >> I have to disagree with your definitions. A TE cannot be a
> panentheist,
> >> although one may subscribe to open theology. A theist holds that
> God is
> >> not
> >> part of creation, except in the incarnation. Open theology fudges
> this a
> >> bit, in making the deity's knowledge and activity restricted to
> time. They
> >> argue that no one can experience what does not yet exist,
> whereas
> >> classical
> >> theism does not restrict God's knowledge. Neither restricts his
> creative
> >> power. Next is the deist, who holds that there is a Creator, but
> he does
> >> not
> >> involve himself in the world until the final judgment.
> Panentheists and
> >> pantheists make the deity a part of the world. The difference is
> that
> >> pantheists identify deity and world, while panenthists let the
> deity have
> >> some independence from it.
> >> Dave (ASA)
> >>
> >> On Wed, 10 Sep 2008 22:40:39 -0400 "David Opderbeck"
> >> <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
> >> writes:
> >>
> >> James, you're asking a question that is both simple and complex,
> but that
> >> IMHO does not really have to be so critical as you make it out to
> be. I
> >> think it's misleading to call this a "worldview" question.
> >>
> >> The simple answer is, for TEs whose theology tends towards what I
> would
> >> call an orthodox view of God's sovereignty, the course of
> evolution is
> >> under
> >> God's sovereignty and hence is guided by his providence. Many of
> us here
> >> would refer to classical notions of causation such as Aquinas'
> "primary"
> >> and
> >> "secondary" causation.
> >>
> >> Some TE's have a view of God's sovereignty that tends towards
> open theism.
> >> In this view, God gifts the creation with the ability to develop
> in ways
> >> that are not necessarily fully known or determined by God.
> >>
> >> Some TE's tend towards or are panentheists. In this view, God
> does not
> >> truly transcend the creation, and in some sense develops along
> with it.
> >>
> >> Most of the TE's you'll meet on this list, I think, tend towards
> an
> >> orthodox view of God's sovereignty. Some may be somewhat open to
> open
> >> theism. None of the regular ASA-member list participants, so far
> as I
> >> know,
> >> tend towards panentheism.
> >>
> >> Here is one reason why I think it's misleading to consider this
> a
> >> "worldview" question (setting aside that I think the whole
> "worldview"
> >> notion has been way overplayed in our contemporary religious
> discourse).
> >> Do
> >> you think the birth of a baby is a creative act of God governed
> by God's
> >> providence? At the same time, would you agree that we are able
> to
> >> describe
> >> in "natural" terms the process by which a baby is conceived,
> develops in
> >> the
> >> womb, and is born, from start to finish (or at least, where there
> are
> >> mechanisms we don't yet fully understand, such as early cell
> >> differentiation, a "natural" explanation is in principle possible
> and
> >> likely?)? Is there a "worldview" conflict in affirming both that
> each
> >> baby
> >> is a creative act within the providence of God and that the
> process of
> >> birth
> >> is explainable in "natural" terms? I don't see a "worldview"
> conflict
> >> here
> >> at all, because, per Aquinas' notion of "primary" and
> "secondary"
> >> causation,
> >> Christians have always affirmed that God's providence is
> operative even in
> >> the sphere of "nature."
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> ____________________________________________________________
> >> Click for free quote on refinancing your
> >>
>
mortgage.<http://thirdpartyoffers.juno.com/TGL2142/fc/Ioyw6i3m3eRZ7ibEyLU
5kroxWbSkbhPsqjM2kwsdm8sySEa9h5mrpV/>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > David W. Opderbeck
> > Associate Professor of Law
> > Seton Hall University Law School
> > Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
> >
>
>
> --
> Burgy
>
> www.burgy.50megs.com
>
>

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Received on Thu Sep 11 16:12:06 2008

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