Deep Concord: Christian Theism and the Deep Roots of Science
This chapter explores the deep concord between theistic religion and science. According to theism, God has created the world; but divine creation is contingent. Many of God's properties—his omniscience and omnipotence, his goodness and love—are, as theists think of it, essential to him: he has them in every possible world in which he exists. Not so, however, with God's properties of being a creator and having created our world. God is not obliged, by his nature or anything else, to create the world; there are plenty of possible worlds in which he doesn't create a world outside himself. Instead, creation is a free action on his part. Furthermore, given that he does create, he isn't obliged to do so in any particular way. That he has created a world outside of himself at all, and that the world he has created displays the particular character and laws it does display—these are contingent matters. It is this doctrine of the contingency of divine creation that both underlies and underwrites the empirical character of modern Western science.
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