Dale, Rich, and Greg discuss providence and Genesis

If we are in agreement about this, then I have nothing more to add.

I have had no such experiences nor do I know anyone who has, and that is rather beside the point. The point is about the multiple coincidences, or to use my preferred terms, ‘co-instants’ or ‘co-instances’. You did notice them?

And about the co-instants, were they causally connected in any way that science can detect? No, they were not. They are examples of God’s special providence, not breaking any natural laws.

Recall my definition of special providence: “God’s using the natural order of things but with supernatural timing and/or extent and placing.”

He can do that on a cosmological scale as well as a molecular biological scale.

So the evolution of the universe, abiogenesis and biological evolution are within his providential purview.

What do you mean by “sufficient”? Sufficient for what?

Dale, I think everything you are saying fits well with my view of Molinism. I believe God chose a particular “reality path” for the universe which led to all of the things you are describing. So the end result in terms of “special providential timing” is the same, even if others do not consider their view to be Molinist.

1 Like

Your definition of Special providence is actually General providence. Think of all the coincidences necessary for you to have been conceived, still God need not have intervened.

The traditional use of the term special providence requires God’s divine intervention and the suspension of natural laws.

A clumsy way of saying divine intervention wasn’t necessary for the universe and life to evolve.

I’m not big on Molinism*, but I know it ‘works’ as an explanatory system. To me, it is too much an academic intellectual exercise, even impersonal, removing the dynamic of present tense relationship. That may seem counter to my appellation of ‘providentialist’, but I am not a hyper-Calvinist. :slightly_smiling_face: There is a wonderful mystery in how God interacts with us in real time in providence that obviously had to have been in order aforehand.

*@jongarvey isn’t a fan, either: Molinism again :slightly_smiling_face:

No, it does not. Reread the Rich Stearns account. That was special providence, and there was no suspension of natural laws. I find the term ‘hypernatural’ miracles useful, where no natural laws are broken, to distinguish them from supernatural ones.

In theology, divine providence , or just providence , is God’s intervention in the Universe. The term Divine Providence (usually capitalized) is also used as a title of God. A distinction is usually made between “general providence”, which refers to God’s continuous upholding of the existence and natural order of the Universe, and “special providence”, which refers to God’s extraordinary intervention in the life of people.[1] Miracles generally fall in the latter category.[2]


Wikipedia, but you’ll find similar definitions elsewhere

‘Generally’ does not encompass all instances of special providence. ‘Special providence’ does not require the suspension of natural laws.

Reread the Rich Stearns account. Do you deny that that was special providence? What natural laws were broken?

God is not nature, so when God intervenes he does so outside the laws of nature. This is standard Christian theology.

Read the book of Ruth. Do you deny that that was special providence? Were any natural laws broken? I don’t think so.

and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz…

That was not mere happenstance – it was special providence.

Yes, but. You still have not told me what natural laws were broken, per my request.

That is a syllogism, a truism. Cannot he undetectably nudge, so to speak, the natural without breaking it?

Ruth is general providence. You can argue with me all you like over your private definitions of theological terms, that’s not going to change what those terms actually mean.

I’m done with the conversation.

Yeah, right.

It is you that needs to learn what the words mean. General providence refers to things that can happen to any and all people:

For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Special providence is reserved for his people, whether through natural means or not.

Since I know that he can undetectably bend nature to care for his people, I know that he can undetectably govern the evolution of the cosmos, and the evolution of molecular biological events, as well.

Last comment, I promise. How does God bend nature? By intervening. That’s called Divine intervention. Read about from actual theological source, please.

You have a major problem. You still have not been able to show me where any natural laws have been miraculously broken in providence. The Rich Stearns account was about general providence? I don’t think so.

I give you permission to break your commitment to silence. :stuck_out_tongue: