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Science, Miracles and Christian Theology (II)
September 23, 2008, 10:23 am
Filed under: Christian Doctrine, Epistemology, Science | Tags: , , , ,

When does an event count as a special act of God, say a miracle, as distinguished from God’s general preservation and sustenance of natural processes?

 

How ’bout this:

Some event is a special act of God, iff its occurrence was not entailed by the previous state of the world and the natural laws of science.

 

But, from what I gather from quantum physics, no event is entailed by the previous state of things and the natural laws of science.  All we can know is the probability of various outcomes.  And there is no physical cause why one possibility is realized rather than another.

 

Surely Christians will think that God is the cause why one possibility is realized rather than another.  This would be how God upholds and preserves the natural order.  This seems like a sensible account of how nature is ‘plugged into’ God, right?

 

But then God’s special acts won’t be a matter of breaking deterministic laws.  They won’t be ‘interventions’. What makes them ‘special’ is that: (1) they are improbable and (2) they are revelatory in the special sense.  We remember that rain is revelatory of God’s goodness in the general, common sense.  Miracles, on the other hand, are revelatory in the special, uncommon sense.

 

 

 

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