Thanks for your usual gracious response. And you can critique my views all you like, I’m here to learn above all else.
As an aside, I tried recently to post on your blog but it didn’t accept my password and never sent me the email to change it. I’ve had that issue before, for what it’s worth.
Firstly, let me say that I find your view of nature acceptable. Now to the details.
As an amateur screenwriter, I understand the importance of word choices, and have noticed that you carefully (and responsibly) and intelligently choose your words for maximum affect. For instance, the, “straight jacket of determinism” - I don’t even like the sound of that. I prefer, “a creation that has been endowed by its Creator to have the ability to accomplish His will”.
There seems to have been some confusion with the terms, “open theism” and, “Open Theism”. Open Theism is a reasonable theology where, “God’s knowledge is dynamic and His providence flexible” (Wikipedia). There’s nothing heretical or un-Christian in Open Theism as far as I can see. I understood, “open theism” as a common description of the theosophy that holds that anything is possible and we got here by happy accident (and I couldn’t find anything on, “open process” theology, even as a branch of Process Theology). The people you mentioned with connections to Biologos hold to Open Theism, not, “open theism”.
I actually agree with that. We will never come close to understanding everything of the physical universe - I suppose that’s a philosophical stance but I think it logically flows from the fact that God created it. For instance, do we really need an algorithm for the Big Bang to prove that, “nature can get it done”? Isn’t that a little above our collective pay scales? So there will always be an opportunity to state that nature, “couldn’t have gotten it done”. Whether one believes it could have or not usually comes from how they interpret early Genesis and theological considerations. I don’t see the bible as teaching, “material determinism”, but neutral on the methods of how God created.
Yes, I agree that my view of nature is philosophically (maybe theologically) preferred despite the lack of current evidence. The preference comes from evidence (not conclusive) from nature and the fact that God is omnipotent, so for me holding that God, “couldn’t have gotten it done” is problematic.
I’m open to God intervening for consciousness, so maybe I’m not as deterministic as you think. However, there are increasingly reasonable theories on how it could have evolved, including the newish Attention Schema Theory, so I think I need to be open to the fact that mind and consciousness could have their basis in the powerful brain. Again, I’m open to God intervening for mind and/or conscious, which in that case nature couldn’t on its own have evolved, “humans”, as compared to homo sapiens. But it appears animals have some kind of consciousness so for now I’m angling toward an AST approach. If there is an evolutionary basis to the mind, then, of course, we’d never be able to produce a mind in lab, because we’d have to able to make a brain.
Again, that makes us equal with God if we think we can understand everything. And maybe I’m oversimplifying things, but can we really compare a dude in San Francisco banging in his inputs on a keyboard with God creating a universe?
Agreed. While at the same time I think that you, if you hold that God continually works through creation in ways we can’t detect, would have to be open to the possibility nature having the power to evolve us on it’s own, theological exceptions aside.
Finally, I don’t think that my view is an apologetic compromise, because I believe by faith that my view is correct. Maybe there should be a theological dictate that, all things equal, the most apologetically powerful view is the best.