God's Sovereignty in Creation - a reply to Howard Van Till - Creation and Evolution

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God's Sovereignty in Creation - a reply to Howard Van Till

English > Fields of Research > Evolution and Creation

P. Rüst (2002), Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 54/3, 216-217;
Original web publication by the American Scientific Affiliation (but with defunct e-mail address):

Main points:

The basic question is whether God is free to act in his creation in whatever manner he chooses, at any time he chooses.

Van Till criticizes the traditional view of God as "an all-powerful, transcendent, personlike being" involving a "radical distinction between the Creator and the creation".

I hold this view to be essentially biblical and true.

- Any model of the universe must be compatible with the knowledge from all fields concerned. A model postulating an oval, orange visible universe and star-shaped, green galaxies will not do.

- Nor will an argument be acceptable which claims that a perfect creation was gifted from the beginning to spontaneously produce, in its time, a biosphere, based on a philosophical belief that God does not work according to the principle "withhold now, compensate later".

- Neither Van Till's model of "creation's functional integrity"
nor my model of "God's hidden options" can be proven from either science or Scripture, although it might be possible that science could, in the future, give us some important hints.

To my paper "Creative Providence in Biology", Van Till responded with "Does God Choose Among Hidden Options?", and "God's Sovereignty in Creation" is my reply.

Van Till and I agree that God is providentially active in creation, but disagree on how
the Creator may have implemented this activity. Van Till opts for a concentration of the provision of all that is necessary for the entire historical development of the creation at its very beginning, emphasizing its "functional integrity".

I prefer to view it as distributed over time, as biology is enormously more complex than the physical universe, and I suspect the prebiotic universe is too small to be able to contain all the information required to build a biosphere.

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