Thanks for your response. I’ll start from then end:
Richard Dawkins said a god who could initiate a universe that evolved man would have to be, “intelligent beyond understanding”. So God’s omniscience is displayed more powerfully in that scenario. But I believe, John, that you’re mischaracterizing my view in saying that nature is, “independent” of God’s immanent choices. Nature doesn’t behave independently at all but evolves in a manner that is dependent on the way that the physical laws of nature work on the special properties of matter. So a meteor that crashed into the earth 66 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs was inevitable because in this particular iteration of the physical realm, designed by God, it had no other choice but to do just that.
There’s been a fair amount written here over the last 2 years or so on increasing biological information, so I’m not sure how much of a problem it really is. But it seems to me that that idea creeps close to a, “god of the gaps” argument. As far as no evidence for, “a precise algorithm within the Big Bang”, that claim smacks of the science version of the Omniscience Bias. I’m guessing that we’re just not there yet, and probably will never be IMO.
I’m not seeing the argument here, essentially that nature can’t produce a conscious, intelligent being that has free will and can change nature. Why can’t a deterministic nature, designed that way by it’s creator, create that? Similarly, why can’t nature create a being that has the capabilities to engage the spiritual?
I’ll state for you my, “3 Types of Life” theory. That his universe displays three types of life, cosmological, biological and spiritual (cosmological includes non-biological systems on earth such as tectonic plate movements and meteorological patterns). Only spiritual life has an opposing force that counters the will of God, therefore necessitating Him to intervene, but not for the others. Therefore, I don’t see God monkeying with nature in response to prayer inconsistent with anything essential.
The question should really be, “Why should God have to do anything when His greatness can be powerfully demonstrated in the creation a physical paradigm that can produce what he wills” or, “why should God do something that is unnecessary due to His omniscience”. As far as the angels, “kicking their heels”, they must have been doing something before the physical was created and certainly will when its destroyed, so I don’t see that as very persuasive at all. And beyond that, if God is outside of time, then I don’t think He waits for anything. Only we do, existing in the physical realm.
I’ll give you my history in this. A few years ago in LA (where I live) I was at an apologetics conference put on by my eventual apologetics instructor Dr. John Oakes, that included a round-table on 4 Christian views of evolution. At one extreme was a young earth creationist, who flew in from the Midwest (my only experience with a YEC) and at the other was Dennis Lamoureux, whom I had never heard of (I was new to apologetics then). John Oakes and he both believed in evolution, but John’s stance was that, “God did a few things along the way” to get us here, which was my view at the time and remained after the conference. But I had to admit to myself then that Dr. Lamoureux made a convincing case, which seemed powerful in it’s radicalness and I was drawn to it somehow. Shortly down the road, after independently abandoning concordance, I no longer needed to have God intervening in evolution to give, “truthfulness” to, “bara” and, “asah” and I happily defaulted to Dennis’ view. In all, it just seems a best fit for the evidence. And besides that, I don’t have the theological objections that you and Eddie have. The arguments just aren’t that persuasive to me, and further, theology for me doesn’t have the epistemological value in origins that it has for you and he.
I don’t know if anyone connected to Biologos in any real way has ever was open to, “open theism”, at least not since I’ve frequented here. The term seems to me an oxymoron, if the God referred to is the god of the bible.
Another reason I like my view nature is that it tears down one more wall when reaching out to knowledgeable skeptics, when I can argue that God didn’t have to, “intervene” in evolution.
In the end, who are we to tell God how He must, or not, work in nature. If the best we can (and probably will be ever to) ascertain is, “God guides evolution in ways we can’t detect” then he might be causing particular genetic mutations working through quantum indeterminacy, or it was all programmed from the beginning. For me the 2nd option works best because if God works through an evolving nature, then His glory is best manifested if that nature has the inbred intelligence to do it without direct interventions, and there is on less hurdle for me to convert scientifically-aware skeptics.