Detailed Instructions: For Assignment from the instructor

Last week we covered how God might act through creation. This week, we will discuss how God can act in the world. Are all events directly dependent and immediately caused by God (this is called “occasionalism”? Does God act through laws that God has created (like in Thomism)? Does God act in a persuasive or non-coercive way (as in “process” thought)?  What kinds of causal powers does God have?

We will read chapter 12 from the McGrath text, and the readings on Aquinas and Process Philosophy from the Campbell and Looy text, and the selection from Boyd and Cobb (optional).

We will participate in a discussion on line concerning the relative strengths and weaknesses of these three views of divine actions.

** After Reading chapters 12, in the McGrath text and the entries from Looy and Campbell on ” on Aquinas and Process Philosophy, and other reading sources. I will be downloading with this assignment**

**Answer the following questions below.  One Page**

There are at least three ways to look at divine action from the reading for this week (maybe   4 if you consider the “Kenotic” theory of John Polkinghorne). The first is occasionalism-which is the idea that God directly causes each event in the universe. The secondary is the Thomistic view of primary and secondary causes.  Here God – as primary (or direct) cause –  creates the laws that govern the universe and its materials and then these other agents, or secondary causes (like gravity, human freedom, evolution) in turn bring about other events. Here, God can intervene if necessary but usually lets the secondary causes operate. Finally, process though is the idea that God cannot prevent many events because God can only act by “persuasion” – for example, God cannot prevent a shooter in a crowded theater from murdering people but can only try to persuade people from not doing these acts. In a similar way, God “persuades” matter to do things but doesn’t coerce it.

Which of these views (or maybe an alternate view) works best and why.

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