Sunday, April 22, 2007

Nature as Creation

If nature is to reveal the Christian God, it must be regarded as creation—that is, as bearing some relation to God, in order that this God may somehow be disclosed through it. Natural theology cannot become a totally autonomous discipline, independent of revelation, in that it depends for its credibility upon the revealed insight that God is creator of the natural order. If the Christian God is to be known through the natural world, that world must have some relation of likeness or affinity to this God; otherwise it is not this God which is disclosed, however imperfectly, through it.

How is this relation to be understood? The traditional view, with which I can find no convincing reason to disagree, is to affirm that there is an intrinsic capacity within the created order to disclose God. Here, nature-as-creation is understood to have an ontologically grounded capacity to reflect God as its maker and originator. Yet it is also perfectly acceptable to conceive this as a covenantal relationship, in which the ability of the creation to disclose God is not intrinsic, resting on analogia entis, but is rather grounded in a decision that this shall be the case…

Alister McGrath, A Scientific Theology: Nature, pp. 296-297

“The great tragedy of science—the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”
T.H. Huxley

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