Posted on December 7, 2011
Does God “Intervene?”
Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism by Alvin Plantinga has been in my Amazon queue and on order since I first learned of it. Well, it finally arrived and there is so much packed into this volume. It’s not an easy read but is accessible to most and has the usual Plantinga flare of being whimsical at times.
Among the many things I’m learning, one question is raised that really got me thinking. In what sense can it be said that God, the creator and sustainer all that exists, “intervenes” in the universe? On challenging the notion of “intervention,” Plantinga notes:
The suggestion is that God would display a sort of arbitrary inconsistency if he sometimes acted contrary to the regularities he has established for his world. But is this really true? There would be arbitrariness and inconsistency only if God had no special reason for acting contrary to the usual regularities; but of course he might very well have such reasons (p 106, emphasis mine).
You can listen to lectures cosponsored with Biola’s graduate and undergraduate philosophy departments and Talbot’s Philosophical Society delivered by Plantinga in May, 2011.