Re: [asa] intervention

From: Keith Miller <kbmill@ksu.edu>
Date: Fri Mar 06 2009 - 19:09:56 EST

Merv wrote:

> Just to push you a bit on this, Keith: So was Jesus' little
> constitutional on the water just a continuation of the created
> natural course of things? We all agree that literal occurrences
> of folks walking on deep water is not common or typical, whatever
> else it may be. So didn't God create gravity and water to cause
> the denser things to sink? While I agree with your sentiments and
> response below, surely folks could be forgiven for thinking of such
> events as "interventions", even if we don't fully understand nature
> to be making judgments on what is 'out-of-bounds', (if indeed
> anything is), and what isn't. (Your points below are well
> taken.) But we do know enough, as they did then too, to recognize
> an astonishing thing when we see it.

By all current understanding of the natural world there are some
events described in scripture that are miraculous in the narrow sense
of breaking the continuity of cause-and effect processes (violating
"natural Law," though I don't like that term). The greatest of these
is of course the resurrection.

My point is that there is no way to know in any absolute sense when
an event is outside of what is creatively possible in the universe
and what is not. Perhaps there is an aspect of God's creation that
makes resurrection a possibility, but our understanding of the true
nature of physical reality is so impoverished that we have no ability
to conceive of creation in its fullest sense.

All we are left with is our current limited understanding. But that
doesn't prohibit us from seeking to bring our understanding of
created physical reality closer to what that reality truly is. So we
are left with what we can explain from out current limited knowledge
and what we still cannot explain. To claim that any of the current
outstanding questions are in principle unresolvable (true gaps in the
created order) would seem to require a rather presumptuous assumption
that we already know most of what there is to know about how the
physical universe works.

I am more comfortable just saying that God is there in the midst of
everything - both the mystery and the well-understood. We can probe
the mysteries without fear of pushing God aside. If those mysteries
yield ultimately to "natural" explanation fine, if they never do then
that is fine as well.

Keith

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Received on Fri Mar 6 19:10:17 2009

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