Re: Survey: Range of beliefs

Stephen Jones (
Tue, 02 Jun 1998 05:17:28 +0800


On Tue, 26 May 1998 10:51:53 -0500 (CDT), David E Hurst wrote:


DH>So, on my short list of beliefs, ranging from the strongest Creationist to
>the strongest Evolutionist (forgive the term "strongest"; a more suitable
>word simply wouldn't come to mind quickly enough):
> + Young Earth; Creation Science
> + Intelligent Design

I would delete "Intelligent Design" as separate category, since all
theists would hold to some degree of Intelligent Design.

I would add:

+ Progressive Creation
+ Mediate Creation (my position)

DH> +/- Theistic Evolution (I picture this one exactly half-way between YE
>and NE)
> - Deism; Blind Watchmaker

The "Blind Watchmaker" is not "Deism" (or Deistic Evolution). TBW is
the Darwinist version of Naturalistic Evolution.

DH> - Naturalistic Evolution (or Materialistic Evolution, or perhaps purely
>Atheistic Evolution)

I am pressed for time to explain Mediate Creation (MC). Briefly it is a broad
creationist position which can included God working through both secondary
(natural) and primary (supernatural) causation.

The term Mediate Creation has a long theological pedigree, one of the best
statements being found in 19th century Presbyterian Charles Hodge's writings:

"But while it has ever been the doctrine of the Church that God created the
universe out of nothing by the word of his power, which creation was
instantaneous and immediate, i. e., without the intervention of any second
causes; yet it has generally been admitted that this is to be understood only of
the original call of matter into existence. Theologians have, therefore,
distinguished between a first and second, or immediate and mediate creation.
The one was instantaneous, the other gradual; the one precludes the idea of
any preexisting substance, and of cooperation, the other admits and implies
both. There is evident ground for this distinction in the Mosaic account of the
creation....Here it is clearly intimated that the universe, when first created, was
in a state of chaos, and that by the life-giving, organizing power of the Spirit of
God, it was gradually moulded into the wonderful cosmos which we now
behold. The whole of the first chapter of Genesis, after the first verse, is an
account of the progress of creation; the production of light; the formation of an
atmosphere; the separation of land and water; the vegetable productions of the
earth the animals of the sea and air; then the living creatures of the earth; and,
last of all, man....It thus appears that forming out of preexisting material comes
within the Scriptural idea of creating...There is, therefore, according to the
Scriptures, not only an immediate, instantaneous creation ex nihilo by the
simple word of God, but a mediate, progressive creation; the power of God
working in union with second causes. (Hodge C., "Systematic Theology," 1960
reprint, Vol. I, pp556-557)

MC is closest to Progressive Creation, but would not agree with PC if it asserts
that God must have created "basic kinds" de novo. MC would allow God
to create new "basic kinds" (ie. designs) by modifying existing "kinds". Thus
MC could accept common ancestry, whereas PC would not.

MC differs from TE in that it (MC) would allow God to have supernaturally
intervened at strategic points in life's history (eg. the origin of life, the origin
on new designs, the origin of human consciousness).


"Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented."
--- Dr. William Provine, Professor of History and Biology, Cornell University.

Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\
3 Hawker Avenue / Oz \
Warwick 6024 ->*_,--\_/ Phone +61 8 9448 7439
Perth, West Australia v "Test everything." (1Thess 5:21)