This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/jim-stump-faith-and-science-seeking-understanding/divine-action-theodicy-and-the-holy-spirit
The problem of absence
Wow, what a great contribution to this series! I’ll have to read it again before I could comment on its content though.
Of course one needs to take into consideration the Holy Spirit/Love as well as the Father/Creator and Son/Logos when one is talking about God and how God works through salvation and in the universe. This is why we need a triune view of how God works and how the universe is.
A lot of good points: 1. The trinity acts in all divine action: 2. Fine parsing of divine action into observable and hidden events is problematic; 3. Ecclesiastical commitments (as he puts it) do influence our thinking. Perhaps the most effective classification of divine action came from Leibniz’s corrective to Newton. “Miracles” are those divine acts observable from faith and reinforcing of faith–through God’s grace. They do produce the human reaction of wonder, amazement, awe and thankfulness. But they are not best understood as primarily “violations of the laws of nature” (Hume).
Recognizing these gracious miracles in scriptures also gives us an interpretative key that Biologos is keen to pursue. For example, if we don’t recognize Methuselah’s age as a such a gracious miracle, we are free to make a wiser interpretation of the text and the man’s life. The discerning observation of gracious miracles in our lives strengthens our faith and witness too.
I think you are right. In a true sense everything is a miracle since everything comes from God. When we understand this through faith we do not need God’s direct intervention to make something a miracle. All things work for good for those who love God, so sometimes “miracles” are not from God, but how God’s uses evil to create good…