Re: [asa] Anti-Creationism Lecture

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Mon Dec 15 2008 - 12:45:17 EST

Hi Iain,

I'd expand the below to suggest that miracles have "revelatory context" - that is to say, they aren't simply unusual events which have to be ascribed to God because we lack any other possible explanation. Rather they are attention grabbing events which we ascribe to God because he so closely associates himself with them.

So, for example, the miracles God worked in Egypt were accompanied by a commentary from Moses explaining what they were about. And a little reflection shows that to be true of all miracles - even Calvin's "perpetual miracle" of nature comes with a commentary in the form of the biblical passages which provide us the basis of a theology of nature.

Prompted by your remarks on YEC's invoking "miracle" as a solution for scientific conundrums: they vary from biblical miracles as described above in precisely the same way at the traditional "deus ex machina" of the Greek playwrights. They are introduced in order to solve a problem in the plot whilst having absolutely no connection with the plot itself.


Iain Strachan wrote:
> Would it not be easier to look at miracles as they occur in the Bible,
> and see if that can shed any light on the question as to whether TE is
> "based on miracles".
> It seems to me that miracles in the Bible are chiefly concerned with
> God's interaction with people; in the OT with His chosen people. They
> are not there to "explain" certain phenomena, but to display how God
> cares for his own people.
> Hence I think it's a senseless question to ask if miracles are
> involved in TE (or indeed any "creation" scenario). It seems to me
> that the problem with so-called "Scientific Creationism" is that when
> the science doesn't add up (e.g. the RATE "accelerated radioactive
> decay" explanation which would cause the earth to vapourise with all
> the heat), then the proponents invoke a miracle or Divine Intervention
> at that point in order to make it work. But such miracles are NOT
> biblical - indeed it seems to me that the Bible teaches (Genesis Ch 1)
> that the earth was what did the "bringing forth" and that God endowed
> it with the properties to be able to do this.
> Hence I think it's wrong (and unbiblical) to assume that miracles are
> involved in natural processes. So I don't support a TE notion that
> has God somehow fiddling the outcome by stacking the dice, or
> whatever. In fact I am sure that would be called "Progressive
> Creation" instead of "Theistic Evolution". My concept of TE would be
> "God said - Let the earth bring forth" ... and after that creative
> action, it (nature) was endowed with all the properties necessary to
> bring forth ... by natural processes.
> Iain

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Received on Mon Dec 15 12:45:27 2008

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