Providence vs. Miracles: same difference?

How do you know that?

I should have said ‘apparently’. An dedicated atheist would deny that any had been broken, right?

I suspect that the episode is fictional, if that’s what you mean. What are you trying to get at? And I have to say what?

Of course you do. But even if you would hypothetically allow that it is true, it didn’t break any natural laws – there was a storm, a man in a boat said something during the storm, after a (very short) while, the storm was over. It was just a coincidence. (It became completely calm and they had to row all the way back, because of their lack of faith. :grin:)

Pretty much everything you said in the whole reply, since you deny the miraculous nature of providence. You have no choice but to frame it that way.

You’re contradicting yourself. Was it lack of faith or just a coincidence? You can’t have both.

If it’s miraculous, if violates physical law. If it doesn’t violate physical law, it isn’t miraculous. You are making no sense at all.

The parenthetical was some humor addressed to the Christians among us. Your ‘both’ was two audiences – it wasn’t clear enough, I agree, but I can have both. :slightly_smiling_face:


Miraculous timing and placing violates no physical laws. Unbelievers like yourself merely convince themselves it was just an improbable occurrence, even if it was a whole set or sequence of multiple improbable occurrences, linked by only by their meaning, not by anything scientific or statistical.

But it was your only actual answer. Please try a serious response.

Timing and placing of what? If God inserts himself to begin a causal chain, that violates physical law, wherever and whenever he does it. I think you’re arguing against something I’m not saying at all. I’m saying that miracles violate physical law, and you are arguing against a claim I’m not talking about, that they aren’t miracles.

It’s true that I don’t think miracles actually happen. I’m stating a hypothetical case: if they happened (as you claim they do) it would have to violate physical law. You need to argue against what I’m actually saying rather than what you imagine I think.

That’s completely unclear. You seem to be saying that what looks like a miracle is just a coincidence. Are you saying what you think is true or are you putting words into my mouth? If the former, it’s incomprehensible. If the latter, it’s irrelevant.

You are not understanding about providence. There are two kinds of miracles – the supernatural, where it does violate physical law, and the hypernatural (you may recall a discussion about that word in the dim and distant past – I can find it, if you like), where it does not break any natural law.

Of course, God’s providence is beyond our understanding, how a timeless God (omnitemporal, I believe) relates to us who are bound in sequential time, and affects (and effects) events without violating anyone’s free will.

Can you detect the cause of a coincidence? No. All you can do is talk about probabilities. Does a coincidence violate any natural law? No. What if God can cause a coincidence? Is there any violation of natural law detectable? No.

I’m trying to figure out why you make that last claim. What can produce a miracle without violating a natural law? Natural law is all about causation. Divine intervention breaks causation. Please make a serious attempt to explain.

What does that even mean?

Whether we can detect a violation isn’t relevant. Whether it happens is relevant. Logically, such a violation must happen in order for there to be a miracle, which is a disruption of worldly causation. Please try to make sense of all this for me.

That is where the problem is. Your working definition of ‘miracle’ is too narrow. (Of course you could say mine is too broad. :slightly_smiling_face:) God can affect and effect events ‘coincidentally’ without any apparent disruption of natural causation and infuse meaning that is not there ‘naturally’. It just looks like probabilities (no matter how improbable) to an unbeliever. That is why this is relevant to evolution, and guided evolution, and why I am an 'evolutionary providentialist’.

(That probably didn’t help much, did it, because I basically just repeated what I said before.)

I don’t. I say it’s incoherent.

Again, this claim relies on the irrelevant word “apparent”. Whether the miracle is apparent or not is not relevant to whether it violates natural law. And “coincidentally” explains nothing about how you think miracles work.

True. When asked to clarify you should do more than just repeat.

You’re welcome.

Pretend that God set this up:

  Timely RVs


Incomprehensible? Good, because you are not going to get your head around God’s omnipotence, his omniscience and his omnitemporallity. But it is not incoherent – it ties together nicely in a word that you have heard before, what Christians call God’s providence.

The question, which you are either avoiding or entirely failing to notice, is “How would God set that up?”

Again, the proper word is “incoherent”. You can’t just say that it isn’t; you have to show.

…is how can God be God, capable of performing miracles which violate the natural order as well as those that don’t, involving timing and placing.

It’s considered poor form to alter someone else’s words in a quote. And have we not already agreed that just repeating the same words is useless? I have to conclude that you are completely uninterested in communication.

That is your prerogative. It does not change who God is nor detract from his sovereignty.

But was I correct in my conclusion?