How do you talk to committed YECs?

Perhaps, but those who come from more confessional traditions don’t see providence this way. God could magic away the rubbish as soon as we put it in the bin, but he doesn’t. In his providence, he has provided refuse collection service, recycling plants… and more recently, the knowledge and will to find more sustainable alternatives. For Reformed and Confessional Christians, God is not kicking back and watching that unfold, the Holy Spirit is actively involved in that. God is working out his will through the people who collect the bins.

In the same way, folks like @Dale and I, believe that God isn’t just passively overseeing the processes of evolution, but that the Holy Spirit is active in them.

I’ve got no problem believing that God’s providence might be at work through the lottery.

The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.~ Proverbs 10:22 (NIV2011)

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. ~Proverbs 16:33 (NIV2011)

God’s providence is his almighty and ever-present power, whereby… riches and poverty… come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand. HC, Lord’s Day 10, Q27, Answer

So does the weather, germ theory, thermodynamics, hydrodynamics relativity, gravity, quantum mechanics, and about a thousand other areas of science and human knowledge, right? But that doesn’t mean that God cannot or might not be providentially at work through them.

Environmental pressures and genetics are controlling factors (of a sort) within evolution. I’m a theology first and foremost, but my understanding is that evolution is not wholly random since evolution selects some traits over others on the basis of fitness.

I agree. God is not a bystander in evolution, he is the sustainer and governer of its processes. The Holy Spirit is intimately at work in and through it as he is in all natural processes from the birth of stars to decay of trees.

If I may be so bold, that could be because you come across as a bit scorched earth. Let Richard be true, and every man a liar. If you know what I mean.


Maybe you should reread (or read for the first time?!) Maggie’s account. In effect, she won five independent lotteries, in the same order that she bought the tickets, and… she was the only one who bought a ticket in each. That is statistically next to impossible. Also reread (or read for the first time?!) Proverbs 16:33. Note the word every.

Yes, it is. Exactly that much – all of it.

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For many politicians, that’s actually a good suggestion that most would agree with.

Cause of Death: Strangling [with bare hands!]


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So you do not believe in luck!

I think that one odd, out-of-context citation is not justification enough for that.

All evidence points to the existence of luck. if you are going to take luck out of evolution you are changing it to God controlled. That is not the current viewpoint, or what is taught. IOW you are cheating the system.

(And your criticisms of me are false. At least I am honest about what random means)

You have not answered the claim that sitting on the sidelines is not providence. (Providence comes from the word provide. If all God did is provide a random system He did not provide any structure or guidance he created one cell)


“Need”? I’ll take that in an existential sense: because if He stopped recreating it from moment to moment it would stop happening – in fact the air and all its contents would cease to exist.

No, because He controls the weather in accordance with His faithfulness, i.e. managing it according to the rules He began with – in other words He sends the rain on the just and the unjust.
This is a constant theme especially in the Psalms, that if it rains it is because God sends the rains, and indeed that if an animal gets its food it is because God provided that food. We are given a repeated proposition that if anything at all happens it is because God makes it happen.

He controls it all because the moment He let go of control of anything that thing would stop happening.

Two terms of it in university. And our class forecasts got things right about four, maybe five times as often as professional meteorologists (who had to work alone).
But there’s no “second guessing God” unless you hold that God controls the weather.
Not that this is even relevant because my point was that science does not drive theology, and the moment someone uses it that way they’re not doing theology any more. Theology is driven by the Person of Christ and His identity, and then by the text.

No, I’m saying – and I’ll quote myself in case you didn’t get it – that “Some of us aren’t interested in evolution any more than in geology or astronomy, i.e. that one understands it before making claims about it and that one doesn’t misrepresent it”. My point is that by all the evidence here, you don’t get it.

Of course I’m talking theology; as I said, my only interest in science is that people actually understand it before making claims.
My view of evolution is that if it is true then it is nothing more than a description of how God has done things.

There’s no difference – God didn’t set up the universe as some sort of machine that has its own existence; the moment He stopped paying attention to the least detail is the moment that whatever that detail involved would cease to exist. Deism is false because it severs the universe from the “I AM” reality.

It comes from all over the Old Testament, notably the Psalms and Job: rain happens because God sends it, food is found because God provides it, etc. It comes especially from the “I AM” name of God which is a declaration that only He has existence in Himself; everything else is totally dependent on Him moment by moment, new not just every morning but every nanosecond.

That’s exactly what the scriptures tell us, though: “I create calamity”, the Lord tells us, letting us know that if any calamity happens, He did it.


I dont, no matter how much you try to put those words in my mouth.
Randomness is the rule that God uses to re-create the ‘progress’ of mutations from instant to instant, but that does not make evolution random. Please, go actually study evolution so you can stop making claims that just aren’t true. Oh – and start paying attention to what people here write so you can stop making false assertions about what has been said.

That’s one of the gems of the Heidelberg Catechism – good call.

I’d forgotten the last part there; I’ll have to remember to include it from now on.

Quite so.

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You do?! You also have not been paying attention:


Empty words? It would appear that you do not really believe them.

It can also directly be inferred from Hebrews 1:3

…he upholds the universe by the word of his power.


Can’t resist a good dig? What kind of a Christian are you?

I believe every word, but clearly not in the way you do.

I would prefer to leave it at that.


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You don’t see that you just contradicted yourself by doing some very bad theology?
Because according to the writer of Proverbs, God is absolutely in control of the lottery!

And nothing happens that is not in His control – so how you can keep claiming that there are things He doesn’t control is baffling. Either He is God or He is not – a theme from Elijah’s challenge to the prophets of Baal.

No, nature is cruel and builds on death; evolution is irrelevant to that. Lions were never herbivores, nor were bears. Plus apparently God differs in opinion, at least if we can take the Psalmist’s word for it that God provides food for lions and bears; He certainly isn’t feeding them apples.

Of course it “ignores God” – or do you have a laboratory or even a field test for the divine? or some scientific instrument that can tell if perhaps an anger is nearby?
You plainly don’t understand science if you think it should take God into account: science is about what humans can measure with their senses and whatever tools they can design. If scientists started claiming to be measuring God, I’d say we’d have another Tower of Babel situation happening!

Everyone understands it perfectly, which is why they say you don’t understand evolution, and you really don’t understand science because you keep getting them wrong. Your approach is like that of a tribal shaman who mixes some real knowledge with fakery, which makes a mess of real knowledge while giving some indirect credit to the fakery.
And from my perspective you don’t understand the scriptures because you can’t seem to grasp that whatever is, happens from God because He is the one who – on a minimalist version of providence – sustains the universe as a whole and in all its parts moment by moment. And yes, that means He sustains the rain when it falls on you, and He sustains the wolf as it brings down a deer, and He sustains the lava as it wipes out neighborhoods, and He sustains the sunshine as it feeds crops, and He sustains the serial killer as he contemplates his next victim, and He sustains the beetle as it strives to cross a highway, and yes, He sustains rainbows in the clouds – if it exists, He sustains it, so if evolution is correct, then He is sustaining that.
That’s one of the big problems people in these threads have with you: you apparently think that God is not in control!

That reminds me of one of my physics professors: he compiled the results of all the lab exercises done by his students (plus those of other professors) and hoped to find something that showed some never-before-seen non-randomness. That in turn reminds me of a pair of my botany professors (and a third I never had classes from) who every other year managed a trip to a “sky island” somewhere in the world not just knowing they would find new species but hoping they’d find something that didn’t fit common descent. And my oceanography professor was involved about every other year in deep-sea research along oceanic spreading ridges in hopes of finding organisms that plainly didn’t share a common ancestor with the rest of the creatures on the planet. Every expedition they almost always came back with a set of never-before-known species, but every expedition they came back with no evidence of anything outside of common descent, and always they came back with nothing showing non-randomness in mutations.

Having known these professors, it utterly baffles me that anyone would think that there’s a conspiracy of some sort to crush anything contrary to the current theory of evolution; hoping for something contrary to accepted parameters was one of their driving energies!


It had nothing to do with earthmoving, it has to do with what words mean. Apparently, according to you, God is not sovereign over ‘luck’, whatever that is.

That just proves that you either do not read, or do not understand what I write. I have never suggested that science should take God into account.

There goes freedom of choice then. Ah well.

I am sorry, but i do not like the God you appear to worship. Just as well I do not see Him that way…

There is a fundamental difference in the way we view God. I have seen all the arguments for there being no such thing as chance. And you have the nerve to accuse YECs of misusing scripture!

Just because God knows does not mean that He made it happen. He knows everyy hair on your head. Does He make them fall out?

If chance means devoid of influence then there will always be gravity, or air pressure or something acting on an object. But whether that means God is controlling where every single leaf falls is another claim entirely. Do you think He does?
If you flip a coin there are pressures on that coin and the shape or imperfections will affect its flight. How much pressure you put on it will also affect how many times it can turn before landing. I guess you could probably develop the perfect toss that would always end up as you want it. Does that mean every toss is dictated not random?
The lottery. You think the outcome is fixed by God? Why would he? The deal of cards, the landing of a roulette wheel. All preordained?
Ecclesiastes 3. To everything a season… all controlled by God so humanity has no influence? So much for global warming! God is in control? Tell that to Putin. Tell that to those who died in the Holocaust. Tell that to the mother mourning the loss of her child. What kind of God are you worshipping?
Are you a Calvinist? Predestination to the nth degree?
I think you might have difficulty counseling the bereaved. That disease, that cancer, all deliberate. What a wonderful, loving God.
I do not think you fully understand the ramifications of your beliefs, just as you do not understand the ramifications of evolution. I can tell you one thing. If I preached what you are telling me, I would not stay a preacher for very long.

I think I now understand how you think.

I can also see how you justify evolutionary theory, You do not exclude my criticisms are not valid. God is the controller of random. Without the vagaries of chance evolution works just fine. But I think you might have difficulties convincing your fellow scientists that there is no such thing as chance.

Good luck with that


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A friend my second year in college had a T-shirt that said “There’s no such thing as luck” in ordinary letters and splashed across it “GOD RULES!”

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The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.
Proverbs 16:33

What part of every is giving you difficulty?

That might be, just maybe, a theological question that science is not equipped to address? What did you learn about God’s sovereignty in your extensive science education? But that was forty years ago and science is different now.

That would be correct.

I suspect it is psychological projection. Creationists enforce a dogmatic adherence to a set belief, so they project that onto scientists.

And it bleeds over (or gushes, in some cases) into all kinds of conspiracism.

Richard, I’d hope you’d recognise that this kind of thing is a very tired strawman that many of us have heard time and time again. And hearing it time and time again gets very boring.

Providence and soverignty doesn’t deny human agency, because God is at work in our free choices and working out his will through our free decisions (cf. my early analogy about the bins). You may not agree with that particular theological conceptualisation, but that does not necessarily mean it is wrong. Incredulity, as I’m sure you would agree, has never been a test of orthodoxy.


Chew on God’s omnitemporality a while. There is what should be an awesome (and delightful, but sometimes hard) mystery in how God works in his providence, orchestrating the myriads of timings and placings for events to fall out the way they do for his children. Maggie was just lucky, right?

You do not, however, recognize the difference between the scientific meaning and a theological one. Theologically, the word is meaningless with respect to God who is sovereign over all things. He is sovereign over storms on Galilee (including raindrops and clouds, air molecules and wind) AND ‘random’ molecular mutations in DNA.

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Again, it had nothing to do with digging, it has to with what words mean.

I dissagree.

If God exists, scientifically the space around him must also exist…and that is the universe! I do not think that you are using the term transcendence appropriately…the bible talks at great length about Gods throne, heaven. Even science suggests that there may be parallel universes…time and space outside that of our own. I belive that this is likely true and that it is the domain of God and heaven.