Divine Acts And Miracles

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Divine Acts & Miracles Introduction Theists, as we have seen, believe that God is not merely a cause alongside other causes but at a different level of causality is the cause of everything continuing to exist. New Testament Christianity reflects this in teaching that God "˜holds together the universe by his word of power' (Heb 1:3 RSV see also Col 1:17), that is, anything exists only because of his continued will that it should. In this section we will explore further this Christian theism and its view of God acting in his world.

In our culture we believe the operations of nature follow regular sequences. The analysis and description of these regular sequences is the work of science, and we use terms like "˜cause and effect' and "˜laws of nature' as part of our framework for this. The question "˜Do all events happen according to scientific law?' is really asking "˜Would it, in principle, be possible for us to construct laws which explain and predict all physical events?" This is not, of course, the same as asking whether our present laws/theories can do this.

When people ask whether or not there are "˜gaps' in natural causal sequences, they don't mean "˜gaps' in our present knowledge, but events which no such laws (even given unlimited facts and intelligence) could be constructed to predict. When people ask, then, whether or not everything happens according to "˜natural processes', or whether there are "˜gaps' in "˜natural processes', we think that this is what they mean to ask. To the theist, of course, if God chooses to do something which is not reducible to or predictable by "˜scientific law', then there is, in one sense nothing "˜unnatural' about it. Everything which God does is, by definition, "˜natural' as it is in line with his own...