Monday, May 27, 2013

What If Space Is Moving? Divine Causation in the Positive

Sometimes it may be that we're coming at a problem all wrong. For instance, I'm told (I have no way to evaluate this claim) that the age we place upon the stars does not seem to take into account that it is not merely light, but space that is moving.

On the same token, I have this simple question for you:

What if it is not that God positively causes an evil action to be performed by otherwise good men, but that men, who would do nothing but evil with every action without restraint, are hindered by God from doing evil until He lets loose those evil actions that they would normally do to take place?

In other words, what if God's causation of evil actions has more to do with Him taking away His normal restraints upon wicked humanity so that it performs what comes natural to it--all to accomplish good by letting chaos out of the box when necessary to achieve His goal?

What this would mean is that God is not actively causing a wicked man to do an evil, but He is merely taking away the restraint upon a rabid dog who wants nothing more than to tear into another in order to accomplish His necessary goals. His normative work in the world, then, is to cause good by restraining the infinite amount of evil that would be accomplished by mankind, and only letting that evil become less restrained when a greater good is in view.

Of course, this is still God causing all of these events. I'm merely posing a question that seeks to understand how He does that. One could say the same for natural disasters (i.e., that chaos would ensue without God upholding the order in the universe by His Word and He occasionally lets that go to accomplish a greater good).

Just a thought I'm pondering. Not something I've thought too much about just yet, so feel free to object. ;-)

1 comment:

  1. It's the highly deterministic version of Calvinism that kept me away from it for a couple of years. This kind of thinking seems to be a more healthy way of looking at it. Although I'm no longer a pure Molinist, I do think elements of that system could be useful - i.e. God knows what actions we'd take in any given circumstances, and arranges things so He gets exactly what He wants. Of course, none of us want to follow Him so He has to sovereignly change His elect's hearts for that to happen, at least. I think some Calvinists need to be more comfortable with certain amounts of cause and effect!

    Another thought: could it be that God not electing all people is somehow necessary to motivate and refine the elect - i.e. the knowledge that a lot of people are going to hell is somehow necessary to spur us on as disciple-making Christians?