How to define providence?


(Chris Falter) #1

Continuing the discussion from Joshua and Cornelius get to know each other:

Hi Eddie -

I should not have left this question hanging without some sort of response. I have always regarded God’s providence as logically distinct from – but not logically unrelated to – both God’s foresight and His miraculous interventions. His providence is, in my view, a kind of hidden interaction with the universe without which everything would instantaneously fall apart.

It is the essence of what these verses express:

in Him all things hold together. - Colossians 3:17

The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word - Hebrews 1:3

There are passages of Scripture that portray God as changing His mind, deciding to do something different than He had originally planned to do. This portrayal is quite antithetical to the philosopher’s conception of God, but the Bible does not seem to care too much about that. This portrayal is not, however, antithetical to providence as I am defining it. Thus I am reluctant to make providence and divine-decrees-from-all-eternity to be logically equivalent, or even compatible. Except, of course, in the sense that in the divine mysteries such as the Trinity, and prayer having an influence on God’s actions, and the polarity between predestination and free will, might very well also include seemingly orthogonal concepts like providence as am defining it and providence-that-requires-deterministic-outcomes, as you are defining it.

I do not hold this position ferociously, and would be glad to read any further thoughts that you care to share. I doubt I will have time to respond after that, for which I beg your pardon in advance. This thread is becoming a time sink that I cannot afford to keep investing in.

yours,
Chris

P.S. I originally posted this in the original thread, but upon reflection I have decide it fits better as a new topic.


Joshua and Cornelius get to know each other
#2

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(Chris Falter) #3

Hi Eddie,

In my opinion, the reason this new school of thought has arisen is that, in the modern era, we have discovered that it is possible to design by using a partially stochastic process, an evolutionary algorithm.

Warm Advent wishes,


(George Brooks) #4

Reminding myself of the Basics…

Providence… to be Provident… Dictionary.com


#5

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#6

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#7

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