Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

From: Cameron Wybrow <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>
Date: Tue May 26 2009 - 17:29:57 EDT

Thanks, Mike.

A. I see now that I did not contextualize my statement, and did your
position an injustice.

I wrote:

"Evolution really *is* all chance and necessity, yet there is *also* a firm
divine plan" -- is logically possible, but reeks of theological contrivance,
contrivance born out of the need felt by a few to accommodate
ultra-Darwinism with Christianity."

When I wrote that, I was not thinking your own reasons for allowing this
view. I see that in your case it does not spring from a simple need for
accommodation, but involves independent theological reflection. So if I
left the impression that I was condemning your whole line of thought, I
apologize. Prior to reading your suggestion, I had never come up with
anything like the "corner store analogy" that I used, and you have raised a
new way of thinking about providence and foreknowledge in relation to
evolution, so I thank you.

What I was really thinking about was the historical fact that in the past,
i.e., up to about the 1980s, evolution/Christianity relations have generally
taken one of two forms:

1. Evolution and Christianity are radically opposed; you must choose one or
the other (e.g., Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins);

2. Evolution and Christianity can be put together, provided that you soften
some of the edges of Darwinism, allowing for some form of divine guidance.
(I believe that Darwin's colleague Wallace, and his correspondent Asa Gray,
and many Catholic thinkers of older generations would have been in this
camp. I also believe that the suggestions and statements of Ted Davis, R.
J. Russell, and George Murphy place them this camp.) (Note that this is
separate from the question of design detectability. It is possible to
believe that God guides evolution without believing that design is
detectable.)

It seems to me that some TEs today at least suggest (though they rarely
state it clearly enough to get a handle on), a third position:

3. Evolution and Christianity can be put together, even if you regard the
hardest-edged, purest form of Darwinism as having been proved by science.

Now as you know, I've been consistently attacking position 3, on the grounds
that Darwinism would appear to be inconsistent with any honest notion of
divine providence, and I've been demanding of TEs a coherent metaphysical
explanation for position 3. I can honestly say that you are the first
person I've read who has come up with a way of reconciling the two.
Therefore, I should have written:

"Evolution really *is* all chance and necessity, yet there is *also* a firm
divine plan" -- is logically possible, but *in most expressions of the
notion to date*, reeks of theological contrivance, contrivance born out of
the need felt by a few to accommodate ultra-Darwinism with Christianity."

And then I should have added that your contribution marked a departure from
the spirit of accommodationism which too quickly jumps to align theology
with science.

B. Now, to some metaphysical or theological points:

Regarding your criticism of the two TE positions that I said made sense to
me, i.e., intervention and front-loading:

(a) Intervention. I don't consider it inconceivable, from a Christian point
of view, that God could have intervened in every single fertilization event,
or every single event generally. God, being omnipotent and omnipresent,
could do that. And if God really is the God not just of nature but of
"history", as a certain school of German and Anglo-American theologians were
fond of saying, it makes sense that he would intervene to bring about the
"history" that he wants. So, while from our perspective, all that is
visible in the union of sperm and egg is a "chance" process, who knows for
sure that "chance" is what is really operating there?

(b) Deterministic front-loading. While I'm no big fan of rigid determinism
in theology, as my remarks critical of Calvinism will have betrayed by now,
Calvinists have rightly pointed out to me that the deterministic language in
the Bible is often much stronger than Christians generally like to admit.
One of them suggested to me that we moderns tend to believe that we are the
author of our own life-plans, but that this is not the Biblical idea, and he
pointed out to me some striking passages from Paul along this line. And of
course there are many Old Testament passages which have a deterministic
flavour.

Understand that I am not affirming either (a) or (b). I am just saying that
a Christian who was convinced that macroevolution was true could employ
either of these arguments (or perhaps a combination, with front-loading
taking care of the big picture of the emergence of man from nature, and
intervention for the fine adjustments of individual lives) to reconcile the
fact of macroevolution with God's providence and planning as described in
the Bible.

Having said all of that, however, let me say that I am far from affirming
that we will ever be able to explain how macroevolution can go together with
the plans of God. In fact, I don't think we will ever be able to explain
how God is involved with natural processes generally -- e.g., the orbit of
Mars around the sun -- without lapsing into either (a) determinism or
interventionism as discussed above; or (b) Deism. So let me admit that it
may be that in some mysterious way that God's providence is compatible with
even a rigid Darwinism, as you are suggesting, and that may be as far as the
human mind can go in this matter.

There still remains the question, however, whether empirical evidence might
eventually tilt the discussion away from the pure Darwinian model. Suppose
that we discover, for example, that Denton's suspicion about the apparently
"unused" portion of DNA (the vast majority of it) is correct, i.e., that it
is there for the sake of future evolution, and that it contains the program,
as it were, to generate future species. Confirmation of that level of
foresight would make a Darwin/Providence reconciliation rather pointless.
So over the next few decades, as we learn more about what all that extra DNA
is doing, and more about the mathematical aspects of biological form
generally, the field may tilt against Darwin.

As for your larger theological point about the creation of particular
individuals, I wonder. Obviously at the DNA level we are individuals, but
you were addressing more than that, if I understood you correctly. You were
suggesting -- I think -- that it is theologically important in Christianity
that God created exactly the specific individuals that he did. Yet we have
to be on our guard in what we say about the importance of individuality. We
are all modern people and have been brought up to place great emphasis on
our own individuality, our own "personality", our own creativity, etc. We
have all watched lots of Walt Disney movies and other such sentimental fare,
in large quantities, and we have all been exposed to the existential
philosophy of "authenticity", and so on, and such things have solidified the
importance of individual personality for us. I wonder how important such
individuality was to the writers of the Bible, or to the early Church.
Maybe God cares much less about our individuality than about our being
shaped into his image. Maybe "personality", individuality, is something
that we have to transcend, not emphasize. Certainly that was the case in
the religious traditions of India, and it appears to have been the case for
a number of Christian saints. My remarks about Genesis, a few posts back,
may perhaps be relevant to such reflections. But I am far from having a
worked-out position on this question.

Cameron.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nucacids" <nucacids@wowway.com>
To: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>; "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:23 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

> Hi Cameron,
>
>
>
> I had intended my last response to be my last response, but I wanted to
> make sure something is clear.
>
>
>
> You wrote, "The position you're allowing for -- "Evolution really
> *is* all chance and necessity, yet there is *also* a firm divine plan" --
> is
> logically possible, but reeks of theological contrivance, contrivance born
> out of the need felt by a few to accommodate ultra-Darwinism with
> Christianity."
>
>
>
> As I mentioned before, that it is logically possible is sufficient. But I
> now want to make it clear that this position is not a theological
> contrivance born out of the need felt to accommodate ultra-Darwinism with
> Christianity. It is a position that originates from pondering my own
> existence.
>
>
>
> Begin with a simple question - Did God intend Cameron and Mike to exist?
> If your answer is no, then all of the arguments you have raised against
> Darwinism apply to your own position. In fact, I would think the
> metaphysical and theological problems that come with a 'no' answer would
> be even more severe.
>
>
>
> Or put it this way. There are three possibilities.
>
>
>
> A. There is no God, therefore the existence of Cameron and Mike was not
> intended.
>
> B. There is a God, yet the existence of Cameron and Mike was not intended.
>
> C. There is a God and the existence of Cameron and Mike was intended.
>
>
>
> I answer the simple question with a 'yes.' That is, I adopt position C.
> I also think these are mainstream Christian answers and positions.
>
>
>
> So we need only take the next step and ask the second question. How did
> Cameron and Mike come into existence?
>
>
>
> I'm not sure how anyone can escape the fact that chance plays a prominent
> role in our individual origin, as it was the chance fusion of a particular
> sperm and particular egg that brought us into existence. The existence of
> our brothers and sisters testifies to the importance of the particular egg
> and sperm that brought us into existence.
>
>
>
> Let's apply what you consider better alternatives:
>
>
>
> "I think that this scenario is the Edsel of TE views. I don't think it
> will
> have any takers, beyond a few hard-core ultra-Darwinist Christian
> thinkers.
> I think that other forms of TE are going to be a much better "sell": Ted
> Davis's account, for example, in which God subtly intervenes to achieve
> definite ends; or front-loaded accounts, which will appeal to the
> necessitarian streak in many Calvinists, and which match up well with many
> Biblical statements."
>
>
>
> To bring us into existence, God would have to subtly intervene with every
> single fertilization event and every choice that led up to the
> fertilization event. On the other hand, every single fertilization event
> and choice that led up to the fertilization event would have to be
> front-loaded, such that front-loading would be more accurately called
> determinism.
>
>
>
> Thus, the scenario I outlined is not about accommodating ultra-Darwinism
> with Christianity. It stems from contemplating my own existence. That it
> also happens to undercut those who insist we must choose between
> Christianity and Darwinism is a splendid bonus.
>
>
>
> - Mike
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>
> To: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
> Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2009 8:33 PM
> Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?
>
>
>> Thanks, Mike.
>>
>> I now understand at least one of the spots where we miscommunicated.
>> Apparently you accepted my "corner store" analogy as a correct
>> interpretation of your notion, but you didn't say that directly, in your
>> two
>> previous posts, so I didn't have a clear sense that you thought I had
>> grasped your alternative correctly. It was only in yesterday's post that
>> you directly confirmed that my analogy captured your idea. Up to that
>> point, I wasn't sure that you hadn't discounted my arguments as
>> worthless.
>> This is one of the difficulties of e-mail as a vehicle. In a
>> conversational
>> setting, we would have come to understanding on that point right away.
>>
>> Of course, you weren't pushing the "corner store analogy" as *the* truth,
>> but were merely allowing it as a possibility. And I grant you that it's
>> a
>> logical possibility which would be able to squeeze pure Darwinism into a
>> Christian setting. However, I note a puzzling oddity about it.
>>
>> In this scenario, by making the universe so that it was truly a product
>> of
>> chance and necessity, rather than
>> of design, God was making it inevitable that natural science, once it
>> reached a certain level of sophistication, would realize that the
>> universe
>> was in fact the product of chance and necessity, rather than design. God
>> was therefore making it inevitable that many of the brightest 19th and
>> 20th
>> century scientists and philosophers -- believing, on the basis of
>> centuries
>> of Christian tradition, that design and chance were opposites, and not
>> yet
>> having the benefit of TE to set them straight -- would infer that there
>> was
>> no divine plan, and hence that Christianity was false. God therefore
>> chose
>> precisely the mode of creation that would lead many of the race's best
>> and
>> brightest (and the millions who followed them, due to the popularization
>> of
>> science) to unbelief in him, and hence to damnation.
>>
>> It also follows from this scenario that God has a soft spot in his heart
>> for
>> more modern people. The blessed generation of mortals which arose after
>> TE
>> was "discovered", the generation who could accept the truth of Darwinism
>> and
>> also of divine
>> planning simultaneously, would continue to believe in Christianity and
>> would
>> be saved. So the poor suckers who had only Darwin, Bertrand Russell and
>> Carl Sagan to guide them were led to the hot place, whereas those who
>> were
>> fortunate enough to have read, say, Francis Ayala, or the essays in
>> *Perspectives on an Evolving Creation*, will enjoy angelic harp-singing
>> in
>> the world to come, because they will know that there is no opposition
>> between blind chance and divine planning, and will not lose their faith.
>> In
>> this scenario, God would appear to have some sort of animus against
>> 19th/20th century people, and a protective love for late
>> 20th/21st-century
>> people.
>>
>> The scenario reminds me in a way of the fundamentalist view that God
>> planted
>> fossils of non-existent dinosaurs in the ground to test Christians'
>> faith.
>> The difference is that in this scenario, the dinosaur bones are real, and
>> do
>> in fact imply that life arose through an unguided process; but the
>> overall
>> effect is the same: God for all practical purposes deceives a portion of
>> the human race into unbelief and damnation. I think this imputes gross
>> injustice to God. If God fakes his own death, he has only himself to
>> blame
>> for the fact that people think he is dead, and to damn them for finding
>> him
>> a convincing actor would be the height of injustice. I certainly don't
>> find
>> such a deceptive picture of God appealing. Admittedly, that alone
>> doesn't
>> prove anything, because God is not compelled to act according to my
>> taste.
>> But I also don't think it's the picture of God drawn in the Bible or in
>> the
>> first 16 centuries of the Christian tradition. In the original Biblical
>> and
>> Christian tradition, God is angry with ungodly people who proudly set
>> their
>> hearts and minds and wills against him, not with Victorian gentlemen of
>> impeccably Christian morality and charity who regretfully and unwillingly
>> give up their belief in him because they think that intellectual honesty
>> about the origin of the world compels them to do so.
>>
>> I think that this scenario is the Edsel of TE views. I don't think it
>> will
>> have any takers, beyond a few hard-core ultra-Darwinist Christian
>> thinkers.
>> I think that other forms of TE are going to be a much better "sell": Ted
>> Davis's account, for example, in which God subtly intervenes to achieve
>> definite ends; or front-loaded accounts, which will appeal to the
>> necessitarian streak in many Calvinists, and which match up well with
>> many
>> Biblical statements. The position you're allowing for -- "Evolution
>> really
>> *is* all chance and necessity, yet there is *also* a firm divine plan" --
>> is
>> logically possible, but reeks of theological contrivance, contrivance
>> born
>> out of the need felt by a few to accommodate ultra-Darwinism with
>> Christianity. And even the few adherents it attracts today will be gone
>> 50
>> years from now, as scientific research makes it clearer and clearer that
>> chance is only a small part of the total explanation, and that necessity
>> and
>> intelligence are much more important components.
>>
>> Cameron.
>>
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Nucacids" <nucacids@wowway.com>
>> To: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>; "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
>> Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 10:57 PM
>> Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?
>>
>>
>>> Hi Cameron,
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Yes, I would agree we are talking at cross-purposes so let me make this
>>> my
>>> last contribution.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I was unclear when I wrote, "this argument strikes me as being
>>> arbitrary."
>>> It's not the argument itself that seems arbitrary to me, but the
>>> *application* of the argument. As I have tried to explain many times,
>>> if
>>> chance and necessity pose a fatal problem for Christianity via Darwinism
>>> and its explanation for the origin of the human species, I don't
>>> understand why chance and necessity don't pose a fatal problem for
>>> Christianity via genetics and its explanation for the origin of
>>> individual
>>> members of the human species.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> As for me not responding to the argument about chance and Christianity,
>>> I
>>> was under the impression that you understood the whole point of my
>>> original essay (that began all these threads) was that it *was* a
>>> response
>>> to such an argument. I did show how "God can guarantee that Adam or
>>> Moses
>>> will ever be created, without "cheating" on the Darwinian mechanisms."
>>> You described my demonstration as follows:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> "God, as it were, walks into this corner store, inspects all of these
>>> infinite number of universes (which being infinite, he can do), and
>>> takes
>>> "Chance Universe #2,889,356,112" off the shelf, and actualizes that one.
>>> Thus, from our perspective, within the universe, it looks as if
>>> everything
>>> occurs by accident (working in conjunction with natural laws), but from
>>> the cosmic perspective, God has actually selected exactly this
>>> particular
>>> set of accidents."
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Yes, and the reason why God took Chance Universe #2,889,356,112 off the
>>> shelf is because it is the one, the only one, that has (and can have) us
>>> in it. That Chance Universe was chosen because of us.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I thought we had some type of understanding, as while you expressed
>>> problems with this perspective, you ended by saying, "I cannot prove
>>> that
>>> this schizophrenic view of reality is wrong. But at a fundamental,
>>> existential level, I simply reject it." I could address the
>>> "schizophrenic" aspects that you dislike (perhaps later this summer, if
>>> you want), but right now, it is sufficient for me to point out that
>>> unless
>>> you can prove this view to be wrong, then you have not proven that
>>> Christianity and Darwinism cannot co-exist.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Anyway, that's how I see it all. Thanks for the interesting exchange of
>>> ideas.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> -Mike
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>
>>> To: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
>>> Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 10:27 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?
>>>
>>>
>>>> Mike:
>>>>
>>>> We are still talking at cross purposes. I never said that "science"
>>>> was
>>>> an
>>>> authority on anything. But "reason" is an authority, at least on some
>>>> matters, such as the logical compatibility of two systems of thought.
>>>> And
>>>> it was on the basis of reason, not "science", that I gave you a very
>>>> detailed, several-paragraph account purporting to show that pure
>>>> Darwinism,
>>>> as Darwin himself understood it, is incompatible with the traditional
>>>> Christian self-understanding of God. It is several posts since then,
>>>> and
>>>> you still have not responded to that detailed argument.
>>>>
>>>> I said nothing "arbitrary". I constructed an argument. In that
>>>> argument
>>>> I
>>>> made statements about time, eternity, necessity, chance, teleology,
>>>> God,
>>>> foreknowledge, etc., based on long years of reading Darwin, Boethius,
>>>> Aquinas, Augustine, Genesis, Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, etc. I then
>>>> drew
>>>> conclusions. I believe I have proved the incompatibility that I
>>>> asserted,
>>>> and that you have not responded to my proof. Rather, you have simply
>>>> denied
>>>> it, and asserted a counter-position of your own.
>>>>
>>>> Today I posted a statement by Behe about Darwinism. I agree with that
>>>> statement. Behe says that Darwin's thought is *inherently*, not just
>>>> accidentally, a-teleological. That is, Behe does not think, as some
>>>> TEs
>>>> think, that Darwin came up with "evolution", based on pure "science"
>>>> (fossils, biogeographical distribution, etc.), and then arbitrarily put
>>>> a
>>>> non-teleological religious construction on the facts of nature. Behe
>>>> agrees
>>>> with me that Darwin *required* a non-teleological account of biological
>>>> nature. If you do not agree with Behe and me on this point -- which I
>>>> believe to be simply a historical fact -- then of course you will not
>>>> accept
>>>> my argument. So if that's the point of disagreement, please say so; it
>>>> will
>>>> save us much time and unnecessary strife.
>>>>
>>>> Another thing that makes this exchange difficult for me is that you
>>>> write
>>>> as
>>>> if deep personal faith is some kind of bulletproof guarantee against
>>>> theological error. It is not. It is quite possible to know for a
>>>> certainty
>>>> that "God is", and still make all kinds of logical errors in working
>>>> out
>>>> the
>>>> implications of God's existence, as well as all kinds of errors in
>>>> Biblical
>>>> interpretation and all kinds of errors in understanding historical
>>>> Christian
>>>> doctrine. I think that the combination of what I am calling pure
>>>> Darwinism
>>>> (i.e., what Darwin actually intended) with orthodox Christianity is
>>>> logically impossible, and that those who so combine the two, be their
>>>> faith
>>>> ever so pure and sincere, are making a serious theoretical error. It
>>>> is
>>>> this error that I detect in some formulations of TE. It seems to me
>>>> that
>>>> some TEs try to combine the two, or at least give the impression that
>>>> they
>>>> are trying to combine the two, and it is this combination in TE that I
>>>> am
>>>> challenging (not the basic assertion of God-guided or God-planned
>>>> evolution,
>>>> to which I have no objection).
>>>>
>>>> I want to be clear, however, that I don't think that God cares very
>>>> much
>>>> about whether or not we get the theory right. The first disciples of
>>>> Jesus
>>>> couldn't theorize their way out of a wet paper bag, but they knew the
>>>> essence of Christianity better than the theoretically learned Catholic
>>>> and
>>>> Protestant theologians who justified murder and torture and imperialism
>>>> and
>>>> the genocide of aboriginals throughout centuries of Christian
>>>> existence.
>>>> It's more important to know the two Great Commandments than to win a
>>>> debate
>>>> about Darwinism. But whenever Christians *do* deem it important to
>>>> argue
>>>> about theoretical matters, then I think they should do so in a
>>>> scholarly
>>>> rather than a personalistic way. And I don't think that your mere
>>>> conviction that God and Darwinism can go together counts as a scholarly
>>>> argument.
>>>>
>>>> So If you are prepared to show me exactly how God can guarantee that
>>>> Adam
>>>> or
>>>> Moses will ever be created, without "cheating" on the Darwinian
>>>> mechanisms,
>>>> i.e., without front-loading or intervening (both implicitly ruled out
>>>> by
>>>> Darwin's view of nature), then by all means, give me the details, and I
>>>> will
>>>> listen. But if you are just going to continue to say that you don't
>>>> find
>>>> your personal faith in conflict with Darwinian mechanisms, then let's
>>>> call
>>>> it a day, because I do not want to be put in the position of seeming to
>>>> attack the sincerity or validity of your personal faith, when all that
>>>> I
>>>> am
>>>> disagreeing with is your logic.
>>>>
>>>> Cameron.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> From: "Nucacids" <nucacids@wowway.com>
>>>> To: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>; "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
>>>> Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 8:24 AM
>>>> Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Hi Cameron,
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> "I, too, believe that sometimes we know things are true, but cannot
>>>>> prove
>>>>> them. However, I can't see that it has any bearing on my argument. I
>>>>> am
>>>>> not talking about whether or not God can be known to exist in the
>>>>> private
>>>>> heart of the believer. I am talking about competing public claims
>>>>> about
>>>>> the
>>>>> structure of reality." I don't believe that Christianity -- at least,
>>>>> as
>>>>> it
>>>>> has historically understood itself -- is merely a private
>>>>> understanding
>>>>> of
>>>>> the heart."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I agree. But we are told that public claims *must* be supported by
>>>>> "evidence" or proof. And many believe that science is the number one
>>>>> authority on all public claims. I just don't think public clams about
>>>>> Christianity entail a denial of "Darwinism" nor is science the
>>>>> authority
>>>>> on such claims.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> "I think it makes public claims about the world, about nature and
>>>>> history and about how God interacts with both. And I think that
>>>>> Darwinism
>>>>> makes public claims about the world, e.g., about the complete absence
>>>>> of
>>>>> intelligence at any point in the evolutionary process. This claim is
>>>>> compatible only with either an absentee God -- who throws matter out
>>>>> into
>>>>> space indifferently, and sits back and lets its movements of chance
>>>>> and
>>>>> necessity surprise him, without caring whether or not the earth or man
>>>>> will
>>>>> ever be produced -- or with no God. Thus, I think that these two
>>>>> claims,
>>>>> the Christian and the Darwinian, are logically and metaphysically
>>>>> incompatible, and that if one of them is true, the other is false.
>>>>> That's
>>>>> why Darwinism -- pure Darwinism, not Darwinism tamed and compromised
>>>>> by
>>>>> Christian sentiments or doctrines -- is a threat to Christian faith."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I'm sorry, but this argument strikes me as being arbitrary. I have
>>>>> already explained many times that the same argument can be made using
>>>>> genetics rather than evolution. For example, "about the complete
>>>>> absence
>>>>> of intelligence at any point in the evolutionary process" easily
>>>>> becomes
>>>>> "about the complete absence of intelligence at any point in the
>>>>> fertilization process." And the rest could stay the same.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Second, it is not true that the Darwinian claim "is compatible only
>>>>> with
>>>>> either an absentee God -- who throws matter out into space
>>>>> indifferently,
>>>>> and sits back and lets its movements of chance and necessity surprise
>>>>> him,
>>>>> without caring whether or not the earth or man will ever be
>>>>> produced --
>>>>> or
>>>>> with no God." I have just outlined a view where God is not
>>>>> surprised
>>>>> one bit by chance and necessity and does indeed care whether man is
>>>>> produced. In fact, He cares so much that He cares whether Mike, Ted,
>>>>> or
>>>>> Cameron is produced. This reality exists because of us and chance
>>>>> was/is
>>>>> no obstacle or lead curtain to our omnipotent Creator.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I should point out that I am one who has long challenged the
>>>>> perception
>>>>> of
>>>>> a complete absence of intelligence at any point in the evolutionary
>>>>> process. It's easily challenged because that is what it is - a
>>>>> perception.
>>>>> But even if the perception is true, it still poses no fundamental
>>>>> challenge to the truth of Christianity. That's how I see it.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> -Mike
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
>>>> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
>>>
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>>
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