Dale, Rich, and Greg discuss providence and Genesis

Not anyone living that I know of.

Done, though I stink a topic naming :confused:


(Providence is relative to the ID and evolution question for Christians, though.)

(The ‘Like’ was not to say the name stunk, but that I appreciate your self-depreciation. :slightly_smiling_face:)

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Well, I’m always open to suggestions. Especially in an off-topic split it’s hard to pin down exactly where it all began. :slight_smile:

How about in times past? Two that I’ve mentioned at PS before are Rich Stearns and George Müller.

Yes it is.

I don’t believe there is a branch of Christianity that preaches there is anything in this universe outside of God’s providence. Some Christians believe general providence is sufficient to explain cosmology and evolution, others say special providence is required.

But can special providence be scientifically proven?

Theoretically it’s possible. In reality it’s doubtful and historical probably impossible.

I need to call it a night.

It is? How? It’s the same problem as proving ID or God’s guiding of evolution.

Ah, I found one, a link that gives an abbreviated account of how God used special providence ‘co-instants’ to convince Rich Stearns to resign as CEO of Lenox China, the high-end dinnerware company, to accept becoming the president of World Vision, the large Christian NGO dedicated to helping children around the world. (His book, The Hole in Our Gospel, elaborates more, I think.)

(The original article: Faith in a Greater Vision.)

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I find your “logic” baffling. God can certainly create things without doing so “SUPER naturally”. For example:

(1) I believe God created rain when he brought into existence matter, energy, and what we now describe as the laws of physics. He made all of these things when he created the universe.

(2) Nevertheless, I would never claim that every time there is a rain shower that God created that rain “SUPER naturally.”

The logic doesn’t follow from your premise. God’s transcendence in no way defines and demands how he creates things.

Wow. (Also, I have background in both Greek mythology and Eastern mysticism and I don’t see any such connection between the two and definitely not with “theistic evolutionary terms.”)

Unfortunately, I can’t make sense of this sentence. Also, the fact that various ideas make no sense to you or me doesn’t require that those who specialize in such topics don’t understand the evidence. Truth doesn’t change when someone doesn’t recognize evidence.

Ditto. Moreover, as science advances, God is not robbed of anything. Indeed, countless scientists over the centuries have described their fascination with the glory of God as revealed in the natural processes he created:

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
— Proverbs 25:2

I have no idea why you think that “man puffs his ego” when he or she investigates God’s creation.

You are heading off the rails. We understand that you do not affirm evolutionary processes. That’s OK. But you are working overtime to vilify those who do recognize evolutionary processes and the evidence for Common Descent.

Your argument sounds similar to those living in past centuries who were frightened that the work of scientists was somehow “leaving God behind.”


Theoretically possible to prove scientifically special creation: I imagine a scenario in which all the world’s scientists are informed in advance of a such a demonstration, giving them time to set up equipment, sensors, etc. Then a simple but impossible situation occurs, like a lump of coal transforming into diamonds.

But as I said, in reality this is doubtful: scientists won’t know in advance and have all kinds of equipment and sensors record the event. So that wouldn’t remove other scientific explanations of the event.

In any event, I fail to see how this connects with my original point about general providence being a sufficient explanation for cosmology and evolution.

This example has God directly talking to a person. But again, I fail to see the point of this line of conversation.

Agreed! I am truly mystified when YECs make this argument as @Greg has done. I am more in awe of God’s creative power now than I ever was as a YEC.

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I challenge you to refresh your memory about all the creation myths where they propose that our existence resulted from and through chaos, destruction, calamity. Contrast this to the Genesis history about God who exists outside of nature who created by speaking everything into existence in peace and in the end called it “very good.” Survival of the firest creation via evolutionism within a chaotic, disease, death ridden world matches the majority myths and steers away from true Biblical history.

Secondly, when it comes to one claiming that God can take claim for creating via nature alone is to suggest that He embodies nature itself. So i challenge you to brush the dust off all of your books on creation myths to see the vast number of them where the deity indwells the earth, lava, the seas, the mountains and sometimes everything for producing our existence. Again, the Christian based history of our existence stands alone as God is indeed sovereign over everything in the natural order where He can alter it at His will and can of course predict its direction because He exists outside of time, but never embodies it which many creation myths suggest their deity does. Again, theistic evolution is more closely related to the majority, and more different than the Judeo Christian perspective because it suggests that God is responsible for creating but does so by 100% (or almost 100%) natural means. If one is logically minded, then God must be one who has to actually embody the natural order…this is eastern mythology and not Biblical creationism.

Now, help me by explaining how i am off based?

Doesn’t the Genesis history include a temper tantrum by God where he destroys the surface of the whole planet and kills every living thing save a handful of creatures on a big wooden boat? Or am I thinking of a different Genesis history?

Theoretically possible. That’s rather bizarre. How are you going to force God’s cooperation in advance?

More than doubtful.

I fail to see how that bizarre example connects with anything. And I wasn’t talking about general providence – I was talking about special providence.

Certainly, I will refresh your memory as well. Glad to do it. I’ll start with the chaotic creation myth [In the academy, a “myth” in the study of various cultures is simply an explanatory description of how something came about.] which you will find in Genesis 1:2:

The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

Every Hebrew exegesis student learns of the meaning and significance of TOHU VAVOHU in Genesis 1:2 (or TOHU WAWOHU, depending on the pronunciation/transliteration philosophy of one’s professor.) I studied under a scholar who was a famous rabbi and on the editorial board of The Journal of Biblical Literature. He preferred TOHU VAVOHU translations like “vast and void” and “topsy-turvy” and “chaotic and catastrophic” in order to emphasize the alliteration aspects of the expression and the expansive chaos described by this fascinating phrase.

The fact that you are so unfamiliar with the Book of Genesis that you would decry “chaos, destruction, calamity” in creation stories absolutely amazes me.

Moreover, Young Earth Creationists have traditionally emphasized that Noah’s flood also brought a new kind of planet earth through the chaos, destruction, and calamity of that event! Are you consistent in your criticisms? Are you informing those Young Earth Creationists that they are defying your personal dislike of chaos in ancient creation descriptions?

Greg, you are heading right off the rails even more often than usual lately. And this (your “refresh your memory” challenge) is among your most bizarre yet. Have you ever read the Book of Genesis?

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I agree. You can’t command God to preform a miracle or to talk to you. Now if God wanted to put on such a demonstration, I’m sure he could.