Creation and the Sovereignty of God

Creation and the Sovereignty of God

Creation and the Sovereignty of God

Creation and the Sovereignty of God

Synopsis

Creation and the Sovereignty of God brings fresh insight to a defense of God. Traditional theistic belief declared a perfect being who creates and sustains everything and who exercises sovereignty over all. Lately, this idea has been contested, but Hugh J. McCann maintains that God creates the best possible universe and is completely free to do so; that God is responsible for human actions, yet humans also have free will; and ultimately, that divine command must be reconciled with natural law. With this distinctive approach to understanding God and the universe, McCann brings new perspective to the evidential argument from evil.

Excerpt

This book is a study of the concept of God as creator and of problems that attend that concept. In part, it represents an application of insights I hope I have gleaned from my work in the theory of human action. More importantly, it is an exercise in what is often called perfect being theology. I wish to defend the thesis that God is an absolutely perfect being, who as creator exercises complete sovereignty over all that was, is, and will be. This sovereignty, I argue, extends not only over all that comprises the physical world, but also over human decisions and actions, over what is moral and what is not, over conceptual reality, and even reaches to God’s own nature. This kind of position has not predominated among philosophers of religion in recent years, and it faces significant difficulties—especially having to do with creaturely freedom and responsibility, the problem of evil, God’s own freedom, and the stability of conceptual truth. But the idea that God is perfect and absolutely sovereign lies very close to the heart of the Western theological tradition. It deserves a vigorous defense. I hope to provide one, and to offer plausible solutions to the problems it encounters.

Chapter 1 presents an argument for the existence of a creator. I hold that such arguments should not aim for deductive certainty, since doing so diverts attention to fruitless disputes over infinite regresses and the principle of sufficient reason. Instead, the argument for a creator should be inductive, founded on the idea that the creative activity of a personal God counts as the best explanation for the existence of the world. The strongest competing hypothesis is that the world is self-propagating: its existence at any moment is to be explained by some causal activity through which the past is able to confer existence on the present and, thereby, on the future. I argue that there is no such process in our experience, and that the scientific laws often supposed to undergird such a process are not even diachronic. Rather, the . . .

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