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Abstract

William Placher has forwarded a challenging description ofthe historical changes that took place in the way Christians think about God and biblical doctrine as the age of reason took center stage beginning in the seventeenth century. His thesis is that the proper sense of God's transcendence was lost as philosophers and theologians came to believe that, apart from Scripture, and solely by human reason, they could think clearly about God and His mode of operation in the world. Placher's analysis is reviewed in detail to establish a sense of direction for the development of a creation model of origins that is properly honoring of Scripture and the character of God.

The author concludes that a biblically appropriate model of origins will have the following characteristics: God will be presented as relating personally to the creation; and because God is all powerful and sovereign over all things, including what we refer to as natural law, the particulars of the universe's origin and operation will be viewed as reflective of Divine plan and purpose rather than physical necessity. The most promising of current creationist models in this regard is Walter ReMine's biotic message theory. Message theory proposes that the purpose of God in creation was to communicate a message of where the universe came from, and to frustrate alternative interpretations to the biblical revelation of supernatural creation by one almighty God. First, certain patterns and features of the universe and its life forms frustrate the idea of a naturalistic origin; second, the distribution of similar features and processes frustrates the idea of multiple gods or processes of origin; and third, the apparent intentional nature of the data frustrates the idea of an impersonal, pantheistic divine force.

Keywords

Aquinas, biotic message theory, Calvin, creation, creationism, creation-science, Christianity, cosmology, Luther, miracles, modernism, history of philosophy, Reformation, Renaissance, seventeenth century, theology, transcendence

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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