Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Blind chance?

The claim of the Bible is absurd, unless we are ready to comprehend that the world as scrutinized and depicted by science is but a thin surface of undisclosed depths. Order is only one of the aspects of nature; its reality is a mystery given but not known. Countless relations that determine our life in history are neither known nor predictable. What history does with the laws of nature cannot be expressed by a law of nature.

Among many difficulties is this: There would have to be a leak, a flaw in the perfect mechanism of mind and matter to let the spirit of God penetrate its structure. To assume that the world for all its immense grandeur is a tiny cymbal in the hand of God, on which at certain times only one soul vibrates though all are struck; in other words, to assume that the entire complex of natural laws is transcended by the freedom of God would presuppose the metaphysical understanding that the laws of nature are derived not from a blind necessity but from freedom, that the ultimate is not fate but God. Revelation is not an act of interfering with the normal course of natural events but the act of instilling a new creative moment into the course of natural events.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 14

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