RE: [asa] Miracles and God of the Gaps

From: <>
Date: Tue Jan 27 2009 - 13:14:08 EST

Quoting Jon Tandy:

> I don't disagree with this necessarily. My point in leading into all
> in the first place was that Theistic Evolution seems to hold that A.1.
> true (providence does indeed have some real influence over natural
> along with generally B.1. and/or B.2. If B.1. is true, then God's
action to
> influence the natural world is strictly supernatural, not natural, and
> should be recognized as "miraculous"; thus, the TE criticism of other
> of creationism relying on "miracles" is a just little disingenuous.
TEs are
> using unobservable, providential miracles, rather than observable
> but real and necessary miracles nonetheless. Or else if B.2. is true,
> God's action directly influences natural causes but is hidden behind
> ability to investigate, this is essentially a "God of the gaps"
argument --
> it relies on our ignorance of real but presently unknown natural
> interactions that are necessary explanations, instead of "purely
> (in the ultimate sense) causes.

I do believe that God's action in nature is supernatural in the sense of
being non-material. God is spirit and it is therefore inconsistent, in
my view, to think of God acting in creation as though God were just
another material force. It seems to me that God's action must be
completely inscrutible by the methods of science.

I don't think that your use of the term "miracle" above is appropriate.
Miracle to me has a specific theological meaning which is that of a
"Sign" -- a specific event that God uses to reveal something about
God's character or will. However, I do agree that God's providential
action in and through creation is not different substantially from
"miraculous" action. The only difference is if it is being used by God
as a sign or not. God is not somehow "more" involved in a miraculous
event than in the continuous upholding of Created reality. "Miracles"
(that is signs) described in scripture include events that are
perfectly understandable in term of natural cause and effect.

I also do not hold that God never breaks the continuity of "natural"
cause-and-effect processes, but only that scientific investigation
could never conclude that God did it. Such breaking of
cause-and-effect continuity would be indistinguishable scientifically
from ignorance.

Several of my past essays make just these points.


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Received on Tue Jan 27 13:14:55 2009

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