Re: [asa] The Patient Creator

From: Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com>
Date: Mon Jun 22 2009 - 00:22:10 EDT

Hi Gregory,

"Would you be willing, Mike, to define what you mean by the following two ideas/concepts/paradigms: anthropic and anthropocentric?"

Have I used those labels?

"There seems to be a difference in saying <we are in the world that God created> and something like <we are the sole purpose and END of God,s creation, i.e. it is ,because of us, that there is any creation at all, since God could easily exist in His Sovereign power without us.>"

Yes, I would agree there is a difference.

"Could you please spell out the nuance you are suggesting with a bit more clarity on this? (Note: I,ve read and re-read your first message about 'because of us' already and am asking for something less dependent on platitudes.)"

Well, check out the first four entries on my new blog:

http://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/

Or perhaps the best way to acheive more clarity is to begin with a simple question. Do you believe that God intended you to exist, Gregory?

Mike
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Gregory Arago
  To: asa@calvin.edu ; Nucacids ; gmurphy10@neo.rr.com
  Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2009 12:54 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] The Patient Creator

        Hi George and Mike,

        A couple of questions on my last day in Russia for a few months. An elderly woman on the metro today wearing Soviet medals and one medal with an icon in the centre spoke loudly (shouted - Russian babushkas sometimes do this!) to the whole carriage about how powerful a day this one is today, reminding them to give thanks to God. It is, she said, two Sunday's after...

        ...oh, but most Westerners are on the Gregorian and not on the Julian calendar.

        I received a gift from the Mother of Tikhvin today. Mystery, miracle, memory...

        To Mike, who wrote: <I think an evolutionary scenario & long time scale (by human standards) were a necessity because that is part of our history and God intended us to exist. Once again, because of us.>

        Would you be willing, Mike, to define what you mean by the following two ideas/concepts/paradigms: anthropic and anthropocentric? There seems to be a difference in saying <we are in the world that God created> and something like <we are the sole purpose and END of God,s creation, i.e. it is ,because of us, that there is any creation at all, since God could easily exist in His Sovereign power without us.>

        Could you please spell out the nuance you are suggesting with a bit more clarity on this? (Note: I,ve read and re-read your first message about 'because of us' already and am asking for something less dependent on platitudes.)

        To George: what do you mean by <theanthropic>? it,s the first time I,ve seen this word/term/idea. could you please attempt to define it? you'll have to excuse if you did this already and I missed it, in which case a link to where you define it would be appreciated.

        Additionally, if you think that ,anthropic, in ,science, (in its various forms), as you say, <can be used in support of a theanthropic principle in theology>, then why don,t you think the reverse direction could possibly be true with respect to ,design,. That is, a ,design, principle in theology (which I believe you and almost everyone else on the ASA list accept) <can be used in support of a design principle in science>? I find again there is a one-directionality of science dictating to theology, rather than a balanced two-way (or multi-way, if one is willing to include philosophy) street.

        Surely you are not referring to <bogochilovechestvo> (godmanhood), which was coined over a century ago in the ,Eastern, Orthodox tradition...?

        George further wrote: <God's purpose in creation is Christ>

        Is this a fully trinitarian statement or one that reflects a 2/3 trinitarian theology seeking balance?

        Thanks,
        Gregory

        --- On Fri, 6/19/09, gmurphy10@neo.rr.com <gmurphy10@neo.rr.com> wrote:

          From: gmurphy10@neo.rr.com <gmurphy10@neo.rr.com>
          Subject: Re: [asa] The Patient Creator
          To: asa@calvin.edu, "Nucacids" <nucacids@wowway.com>
          Received: Friday, June 19, 2009, 10:04 PM

          Mike -

          I didn't mean to attribute the statements you quote to you.

          What I said about God's purpose for creation was indeed generic & deliberately so. I'm quite willing to be more specific: God's purpose in creation is Christ - Eph.1:10. Creation is for the sake of Incarnation. & if that is the case it seems plausible that the development of an intelligent species in which God could be incarnate would be required. That's why I've suggested that anthropic principle arguments in science can be used in support of a theanthropic principle in theology.

          Shalom,
          George

          ---- Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com> wrote:
> Hi George,
>
> I'm not the one who wrote, "it makes no sense to imagine that an
> all-powerful God would need to devise this vast universal Rube Goldberg
> contrivance for the sake of creating life, rather than just doing it in one
> fell swoop of His mighty hand."
>
> A skeptic on my blog wrote this and another skeptic agreed with the
> "argument." They formulated the complaint as an issue of divine power so I
> played by their rules.
>
> As for God intending to "create a universe which had its own "functional
> integrity" & would be capable (with divine cooperation) of bringing forth
> intelligent life," I'm not sure God's intentions would be so generic and
> distant. I think an evolutionary scenario & long time scale (by human
> standards) were a necessity because that is part of our history and God
> intended us to exist. Once again, because of us.
>
> Mike
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <gmurphy10@neo.rr.com>
> To: <asa@calvin.edu>; "Nucacids" <nucacids@wowway.com>
> Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:06 PM
> Subject: Re: [asa] The Patient Creator
>
>
> > If God intended to create a universe which had its own "functional
> > integrity" & would be capable (with divine cooperation) of bringing forth
> > intelligent life then an evolutionary scenario & long time scale (by human
> > standards) would be pretty much a necessity. I don't think the issue here
> > is divine omnipotence.
> >
> > Shalom,
> > George
> >
> > ---- Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com> wrote:
> >> If the Universe is 14 billion years old, and humans evolved only about
> >> 300 million years ago, then Creation existed without humans for 13.7
> >> billion years. For some, this is a problem for Christian faith: "it makes
> >> no sense to imagine that an all-powerful God would need to devise this
> >> vast universal Rube Goldberg contrivance for the sake of creating life,
> >> rather than just doing it in one fell swoop of His mighty hand."
> >>
> >> This argument is essentially subjective and it targets the omnipotence of
> >> God. The idea is that a truly all-powerful God would not have to employ
> >> such an immensely long, drawn out, inefficient process since He had the
> >> power to bring Creation into existence in an instantaneous act. Why
> >> bother with 13.7 billion years of irrelevant history when what matters is
> >> the origin of humankind?
> >>
> >> Now, I have already noted that even Genesis does not teach an
> >> instantaneous, all-at-once, creation. Certainly, God could have created
> >> all of reality in one fell swoop of His mighty hand. And He could have
> >> done so last Thursday. But that is not what happened. So we need to ask
> >> why it is that creation is so old and why it is that creation existed as
> >> long as it did without humans. But before getting to that directly, we
> >> should also pause to consider that this ancient Universe is consistent
> >> with the teachings about God.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> More here:
> >> http://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/the-patient-creator/
> >>
> >> Mike
> >
>
>
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>
>
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Received on Mon Jun 22 00:23:30 2009

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