Mike Gene makes a good argument against Keith Miller’s article Evolutionary Theory And Continuous Creation. However, I think the argument against Miller’s thesis is much simpler than that. But before I get into my rebuttal, am I the only one who is noticing the TE are on the rise to bash ID? You have people like Kenneth Miller, Francis Collins, SC Morris, and now Keith Miller, all advocates God uses Darwinian evolution as a method of creation.
Let’s take a look at Keith Miller’s theological reasoning.
I accept the Bible as authoritative and true in what God intends it to communicate. … The question for the Christian is then – What is the best interpretive framework for any given passage of scripture? I am convinced that the best interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis is a literary one in which neither time nor chronology are part of the intended message.
On what textual basis does he make that determination. Certainly, Genesis contains many literary techniques, including symbolism, metaphors and documentary devices. Although it does not contain specify dates and length of time it does specify the order of creation. There is no indication the creation account is metaphorical. Just as there is no indication to think this paragraph of mine is anything but a straight forward account of my critique of Miller’s quote. The question is why he chose that framework for interpretation. Is it based on his vast knowledge of ancient manuscripts and literary styles and techniques of documents in that period? Or is it base on his commitment to Darwinian evolution and in fear for a crisis in his faith?
Finally, I fully and unhesitatingly accept the doctrine of creation. God is the Creator of all things and nothing would exist without God’s continually willing it to be. Creation was not merely a past accomplished act, but rather is a present and continuing reality.
This is just sloppy theology. The act of creation and sustaining that creation are two totally different things. The Scripture is clear that God rested from His Creation and He is now is sustaining mode.
Neither does scientific description, however complete, provide any argument against a creator. Since God acts through process, evolution and the theology of creation are perfectly compatible. In fact, I see them as positively reinforcing. An evolutionary understanding of creation illuminates our theological understanding, and theology places our scientific discoveries in a more comprehensive context and provides necessary moral guidance in the scientific endeavor.
The kind of faith and belief that Keith Miller is proposing almost reduces Christianity to the level of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I’ve posted on what does authentic Christian faith means in the context of the Bible here. Exiled from GROGGS also has a nice post on faith here.
God is intimately and actively involved in what we perceive as “natural” or “law-governed” processes. I thus see no distinction between God’s activity in “natural” and “miraculous” events. If one accepts this theological view, which I believe is thoroughly orthodox, then a completely seamless evolutionary history of life would be entirely acceptable theologically. In other words, such a scientific description would not violate one’s understanding of the nature and character of God.
This is an example of the danger of picking and choosing bits and pieces out of the Bible. Even Satan will quote the Bible, but we must take the whole counsel of God. God has made it known to us that Genesis was a real account of Creation and the creative works of God can be seen and fully known, miraculous events are real and observable.
OK, let’s get to the main point of Keith Miller’s thesis of God’s continuous creation.
By evolution, I mean the theory that all living things on Earth are descended from a common ancestor through a continuity of cause-and-effect processes. I believe that there are no necessary breaks or gaps in causal explanations. That is, all transitions in the history of life are potentially explicable in terms of “natural” cause-and-effect processes.
Now couple this thought with this one.
Finally, I fully and unhesitatingly accept the doctrine of creation. God is the Creator of all things and nothing would exist without God’s continually willing it to be. Creation was not merely a past accomplished act, but rather is a present and continuing reality. The best term for this view of God’s creative activity is “continuous creation.” … God is both transcendent over creation, and immanent in creation. God’s creative power is continually at work, even now. I believe that the biblical view is that God upholds all physical reality moment to moment. God is intimately and actively involved in what we perceive as “natural” or “law-governed” processes. I thus see no distinction between God’s activity in “natural” and “miraculous” events.
It seems to me that Miller believes in common ancestry and God is the cause or active agent behind these acts of evolutionary changes. It seems to me this view is well within the ID camp. Why does he not sign the document of scholars that are skeptical of Darwinian evolution?
Is the only problem due to ID posits that this “continuous creation” can be inferred and detectable? Miller would rather side with the atheistic Darwinists who despise the God that he professes to believe over the difference of whether design is detectable? I guess now we know what is more important to Miller in his worldview.
My refutation of his “continuous creation” is really simple.
I would argue that an interventionist view of God is much closer to deism than my view. It implies that God is somehow withdrawn, or at least uninvolved in creation, except during special exceptional events. As others have noted, a doctrine of God’s occasional intervention is really a doctrine of God’s usual absence.
Let’s assumed that his view of “continuous creation” theme is correct. There is just one flaw in his logic in which his whole house crumbles. He assumes that just because God is in “continuous” involvement with His Creation that any incident of intervention that is visible and detectable to human investigation is not possible. He illogically draws a false dichotomy between continuous/normal intervention and special/detectable intervention. It is just that simple. By recognizing that there is no requirement from theology or science that the God who shows Himself visibly and also act invisibly, his entire argument to draw exclusivity for “continuous creation” is invalidated.
Please read these other related postings to this post and other points in Miller’s article.
Darwinian Fizzbin 1
Darwinian Fizzbin 2nd revolution
Darwinian Fizzbin 3rd revolution
What’s a Theory?
The Darwinian Empire Strikes Back
Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in The Light of Evolution
Nietzsche’s Madman : Finding Darwin’s God