Sunday, May 20, 2018

"if theology does lay special claim to gaps, i.e., to exceptions to an explanation in terms of law, then regulated events cannot be seen as direct and living acts of God in the way that miracles are."

     Wolfhart Pannenberg, paraphrasing Paul Althaus, Systematic theology, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994 [1991]), 71n174.  There are some very nice statements on this page in the body, too.  Pannenberg continues as follows:
     The only safeguard against the argument that theology is here again claiming a gap in what is normal as the basis of its description of God's action in natural occurrences is to show first that [1] contingency is constitutive for the very concept of laws in nature, and then to claim that [2] contingency thus applies not merely to events that are not regulated by law but to all events in general.  We can do this if we show that [3] the contingency of each event is the result of the irreversibility of time.  If this argument holds good, only a contesting of the irreversibility of time can weaken the thesis that all events are contingent [(italics mine)].

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