Re: [asa] intervention

From: Keith Miller <>
Date: Fri Mar 06 2009 - 17:45:29 EST

Bill Powers wrote:

> George:
> I believe tht Nicholas Saunders in his book on Divine Action argues
> that non-interventionist divine action does not appear promising
> presuming a realist construal of modern physics.
> Saunders never really addresses interventionist divine action. Why
> object to interventionist divine action? Even if physical law is
> equivalent to a physical necessity in this world (something I don't
> know how we'd know), why prohibit divine breaking and violation of
> those laws?
> bill powers

Nothing prohibits God from doing whatever God wants to do. The issue
seems to me to be one of our understanding of God's character, not of
God's capability. So one question would be why would God create the
physical universe in such a way that God had to break chains of cause-
and effect in order to accomplish God's will? Why would God create
in such a way as to frustrate God's creative will.

Another perspective is that God never acts in a way that violates the
created capacities of the creation. This may include events that
seem to us to violate patterns of cause-or-effect and look to us as
interventions. However, this perception may simply be an artifact of
our very limited perception of reality, and our profound ignorance of
some aspects of the nature of created reality.

I think that the whole project of trying to define "intervention" is
an unproductive one. The practical reality is that some events and
observations in the natural world are currently explicable in terms
of known cause-and-effect processes, and others are not. The
enterprise of science is devoted to the effort of trying to expand
the limits of the explicable. If we keep attentive to the truth that
all of the natural world is creation and under God's direct
providential control, then this pursuit should not pose a conflict
with Christian theological claims.


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Received on Fri Mar 6 17:46:15 2009

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