Re: [asa] Providence?

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Sep 11 2008 - 16:35:20 EDT

Actually, if "theist" is in the name, we can't really say a panentheist
isn't talking in some way about "god," can we? But I agree with Dave S. --
classical theism, and particularly Christian theism that is at all in the
tradition of the Apostle's Creed, seems incompatible with any notion that
God is not ontologically "other" than creation, however much God is "in"
creation or "sustains" creation or is the "source of" creation.

On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 4:10 PM, D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>wrote:

> 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
> >
> >
>

-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Thu Sep 11 16:35:38 2008

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