Five Perspectives on Divine Action

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“Does God act in the world? For many Christians, the answer to this question might seem to be an obvious, affirmative, resounding “Yes!” After all, if anything can be said of Christianity, surely it is that the Judeo-Christian God attested to in Scripture, church history, and personal experience is a God who actually does something in Creation…it is difficult to imagine a robust Christian theology devoid of this affirmation that God is present and active in the world.

“At the same time, however, the remarkable success of contemporary science has caused many Christians (theologians, philosophers, scientists, and others) to seriously question whether one can still maintain an intellectually credible affirmation of divine action. Indeed, the natural sciences have proved strikingly successful at providing increasingly specific explanations on their own terms for hitherto “unexplainable” phenomena. Given that we live in a world seemingly governed by natural laws, many Christians are thus questioning whether it is still possible to endorse God’s action and governance as well.”

This is how theologian Sara Lane Ritchie and philosopher Jim Stump introduce a series of 5 different essays on divine action. Contributors include philosopher Alvin Plantinga, reformed theologian Robert John Russell, pentecostal theologian Amos Yong, open and relational theologian Thomas Jay Oord, and Orthodox theologian Christopher Knight.

This collection is somewhat advanced, but also quite thorough and wide-ranging in addressing the topic. These essays can benefit one’s own personal study or a more advanced church discussion group.

Divine action is truly one of the most basic and important topics at the intersection of Christian faith and science. Leverage this collection of leading thinkers to understand it better.

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