About Providence, Divine Action and the Church

In this blog, Terry J. Wright posts thoughts and shares research on the Christian doctrine of providence. This doctrine testifies to God’s provision for all things through creation’s high priest, the man Christ Jesus. However, the precise meaning and manner of this provision is a perpetually open question, and this blog is a forum for discussion of the many issues relating to providence and the place of the Church within God’s action.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Teleology and Providence

There’s a new book on providence coming out at the end of October:

The book defends that there is both teleological order (design) and chance in non-living and in living systems of nature including man. This is done by giving exact definitions of different types of order and teleological order on the one hand and of different types of chance on the other. For their compatibility it is important to notice that any definition of chance presupposes some kind of order relative to that we can speak of chance. Thus also in evolution which is some growth of some order and for which a detailed definition is given in chpt. 13 chance and degrees of freedom play an essential role.

A further purpose of the book is to show that both the existing order and the existing chance in nature are compatible with a global teleological plan which is God’s providence. However concerning the execution of God’s plan not everything is done or caused by himself but “God created things in such a way that they themselves can create something” (Gödel, MAX PHIL). A reason for that is that God is neither all-causing nor all-willing although he is almighty. This is connected with the result of chpts. 15 and 16 that also human freedom and evil are compatible with God’s providence.

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