I need to clarify, as I think you’re still misreading me (and we’ll continue to discuss this in the future, so it’s good to be clear).
I was not suggesting that Halvorson excludes contingency from nature (ie that there are only general laws and mathematical models) but from science (ie that science deals only in general laws and mathematical models). I should have expressed myself more clearly.
Quite so - my aim in this discussion has been to clarify that fact in the description of the methodology: science deals with the regular operations of nature - therefore its methodology is regularism. One could retain the word “naturalism” if one prefers, having clarified what “nature” actually means, ie that which is regular in creation (as opposed, for example, to the common idea that nature is whatever God doesn’t do).
Of course, defining “nature” in that way would have made it it incoherent for you to have written instead “…without denying that the Creator might act within creation, and without denying that their is not regular things in nature.” Irregular things in the regular things of nature would be a contradiction.
My only disagreement if you’re OK with that is that, historically, from the Fathers through Calvin and the Reformers through to nineteenth century theologians and theistic scientists, the regularities that science works on in a secular manner have been seen as evidence revealing the Pollack or the Adams behind the work. I don’t know how many of the Fathers I’ve read saying, along with Irenaeus, that in creation, God makes visible to us his invisible attributes. It’s as close to the core doctrine of the theology of creation as anything else. However, as you add in your next post, for science to set aside that revelation as a “self-limiting ordinance”, the better to understand the relations between aspects of creation, is fine - as long as it is acknowledged as a purely methodological move. Most early Christian scientists did that (Bacon, maybe, less so than most).
The “celestial engineer” quote I find to be troubling in its rhetorical contrast of the artist with the engineer. An opponent could easily have recast it like this:
God the Creator is not a celestial artist at work on some vague aesthetic concept that will impress the Turner Prize Committee, but an engineer who gets his hands dirty making stuff that works and is actually useful."
Coming from a long line of engineers (in ironwork since 1820, folks), I appreciate Alexandr Solzhenytsyn’s attitude that they are the salt of the earth. But personally, I’m a musician, so I also appreciate that art is different from engineering. As far as its cultural context goes, Scripture is happy to use artisan imagery such as the potter for God’s Creatorhood, potters being engaged in both practical and aesthetic matters. You may find praise for the beauty of the things he creates, and his engineering skill (Job’s wonder at his filling clouds with water and still keeping them up in the sky, for example).
The Bible goes beyond both analogies, of course - he is also pictured as a king commanding things to happen, an architect making a great public building, a parent both begetting and caring for his works, and other things too. I find it problematic to elevate one at the expense of another, especially by the use of rhetoric (such as the denial of his sovereignty in creation with words like “puppetmaster calling all the shots”).
How much of his work in all these ways is available to science? None, once we have recognised its methodological limitations (and one reason these are not recognised is that, as Argon says, degrees are awarded for science - philosophy of science often goes by the board, so that scientists are often less aware of their modus operandi than they should be.)
How much of his work in all these ways is available to humanity? That’s a very different question. There are many humans who are not bound by the methodology of science. Oddly enough there are no scientists who are not also fully human.