Sunday, June 6, 2010

Surprise! Surprise!

Theologian Gregory A. Boyd, in his book God of the Possible, discusses the thesis that the future is partly fixed and partly open even to God because the details are unfolding with the participation of free-will agents - i.e. human beings.

Pop writer Dean Koontz captures the essense of this phenomenon - one that any fiction writer can attest to:

"If you give your characters free will they will grow in ways you never anticipated, and they will take the story places you could not have predicted, raising themes you might or might not have intended to explore. Characters shape events; events illuminate the characters. The people in a story begin as seeds, become buds, and blossom in ways that surprise the author, precisely as real people frequently surprise him with their intentions and capacities." (Relentless by Dean Koontz - spoken by the narrator)


London Mabel said...

I would only qualify this and say - life is like a Dean Koontz characters'. Because Connie Willis' reply to this concept is: Nonsense! My characters do exactly what I tell them to do!

Which always made me laugh.

I still think we do exactly what God intends, because God exists in all dimensions of space and time; so there is nothing unknown, there's no mystery to God. Maybe I see God from a Connie Willis perspective. ;-)

But from our perspective, I do believe we're a mixture of nature and nurture.

gmc said...

Some of our conundrums about the nature of evil also seem to come down to the opposing viewpoints involved with God Knows All vs. The Future is Partly Open... In the God Knows All theory than as you have said before - all evil comes back onto his shoulders. In the Future is Partly Open due to freewill, evil falls upon the shoulders of those freewill creatures who choose it, Satan being cheif among these. I'm just beginning Boyds: Satan and the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy. Mind stretching because this challenges several concepts I've held for a while, but it also solves some dilemmas.