There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding of my personal views of God’s divine action in this conversation (for those of you following along in the comment section of other blogs). For example Walter Rossiter (one of the Blog authors disputing the original post) writes to @Jay313
You’re well aware of the distinction [between primary and secondary causation]. Yet all of you waffle on it. Why, because you’ve made clear that you can’t have God sticking His fingers in here or there, because, now you have a God who 1) didn’t get it right the first time and 2) acts as a cause alongside other causes. I’ve written extensively about this problem for theistic evolutionists.
He also asks of me…
What. Did. God. Do?
Here, he means to draw some sharp lines in the sand about the primary cause (direct) action of God, leaving aside the secondary cause (natural law / indirect) action of God.
I want to clarify my position on this.
I believe what Scripture tells me of this. God did it all. Colosians 1:19. “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”
How much was was by primary cause? How much was by secondary cause? (this is where the debate seems to be for some). Here, I think that Proverbs 25:2 applies. “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”
I know He did it all. How much did creation do on its own? I do not know because the Bible does not tell me. I do not know how to speak with confidence about God’s action independent of what He reveals to us in Jesus and in Scripture.
Some still seem to be very fixated on the nature of God’s action by primary cause.
As should be clear, I entirely agree (as do many theistic evolutionists) that God acts by primary cause in nature. I know this first through Jesus, and then also through Genesis and the creation account. An nothing in science disputes this because nothing in science (at least mainstream science) speaks to when God does or does not act.
In this I am sharply different than some TE that claim God does not ever act by first cause. I know from Scripture that He does.
However, differing from many in the ID movement in particular, I do not think that it is possible to confidently determine when God does and does not act (by first cause) independent of His self-revelation.
Theologically, this should be obvious because the Bible does not clearly lay out the detailed mechanisms of creation (e.g. which specific mutations did he inspire?). For some idiosyncratic reason, God seems more intent on ensuring we understand the mechanism of salvation (through Jesus) than the mechanism of creation. I understand some have different values than what I believe scripture teaches here, but that does not make me incoherent. I just emphasize Jesus and special revelation more than the ID movement, concordant with what I see that Scripture teaches.
Scientifically, while I am certain God acts by first cause, I have found every scientific argument to define the exact nature of His action to be genuinely bad science. This is not to deny He acts, but it is to reject stupid arguments for His action. Many seem to make the absurd jump to assume that because I reject a specific argument for God’s action on scientific grounds, that I reject even the possibility that God acts by first cause at all.
To repeat. I disagree forcefully with TE’s that deny God ever acts by primary cause. I also disagree forcefully with bad scientific arguments for God’s primary action; I do not think false arguments help anything, even when they are for correct conclusions. So I believe that God acts by first cause, but for theological and scientific reasons, I do not know how to define the exact nature of his action by first cause independent of His self-revelation. In this, I am echoing Reformed, Lutheran, Barthian, and Evangelical thought. Dare I say it: I am echoing Biblical teaching here too (at least I understand it) Maybe I am wrong, but I am certainly Christian.
Of course, this should all be obvious from several things I have written on my blog, comments on other’s blogs, BioLogos and elsewhere.