The term 'law of nature' such as gravity, condensation, etc. is rarely if ever described in relation to God in modern schools and Universities. Yet I am wondering what the biblical view of the Laws of nature are?

Specifically I am wondering if the Bible presents God as an absentee creator who wound up the 'clock of the universe' and stood back while it 'ticked' according to its designed laws, or is God portrayed as being more intimately involved in moving and being present in each 'tick'?

Please provide an evangelical supported answer with a referenced quote.

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    The absent clockmaker theology was most importantly promulgated by the Rev. Sir isaac newton. A Christian yes, but not an evangelical. Oct 7 '12 at 12:44
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    I would suggest that most evangelicals, who stress the intimate activity of an ever present God would actually call the absent clockmaker theology heresy- on fact, j. B. Phillips "Your God is too small" calls this a limiting understanding of who God is Oct 7 '12 at 12:47
  • @AffableGeek - Obviously I would agree but interesting about Newton, did not know he was the absentee guy.
    – Mike
    Oct 7 '12 at 14:32
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    I don't think you're going to find a universally agreed upon answer, but my gut tells me that most evangelicals would hold the position that God created the laws of nature, but is not bound by them, and is free to intervene and take an active interest and role in His creation. I'd love to provide an answer to this, but I can't think of any supporting evidence that I'd say is good enough. Other than perhaps a refutation of the blind clockmaker heresy, and the fact that what you're describing is Deism. Oct 7 '12 at 15:39
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    Couldn't God have created the universe "wound it up" and then let it go but actively intervenes when he chooses to do so and not intervene in the affairs of man when he chooses to do so? I understand that Deism is not the answer but maybe it is the "wound up the universe" idea, let it go, and then still plays an active role when he chooses to intervene......?
    – user4761
    Jun 14 '13 at 3:10

Of course when we see a tree we see God holding together, beneath the subatomic level, all the elements necessary for a tree to be. If God ever decided no longer to sustain the tree, a flower, a cloud, the Devil, then it would cease to exist.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3, NIV)

In fact as God sustains all things by his own power even the sinner lives in Christ, yet not inwardly by faith but by his mere existence he proclaims God as he has life.

‘For in him we live and move and have our being. ’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring. ’ (Acts 17:28, NIV)

Now it is impossible to imagine God is distant when our breath comes from him:

In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:10, NIV)

A. W. Tozer wrote an excellent book on the nature of God. In it he said:

This idea that God is an absentee engineer running His universe by remote control is all wrong. He is present in perpetual and continuous eagerness, with all the fervor of rapturous love pressing His holy designs. If you don’t feel that way about it, it’s unbelief that makes you feel otherwise; it’s preoccupation with this world. If you would believe God you would know this to be true. The goodness of God means He cannot feel indifferent about anything. People are indifferent, but not God. God either loves with a boundless unremitting energy or He hates with consuming fire. (A.W. Tozer Attributes of God, P44)

The 'laws of nature' simply show that God is fixed in his purposes as his power flows along unchanging rules.

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    I was also thinking of Acts 17:28. Nice answer. Don't forget also Colossians 1:17: "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Oct 9 '12 at 15:38
  • @Wikis - Nice addition, also jcohen pointed out Math 10:29
    – Mike
    Oct 9 '12 at 22:57

We know from Einstein's General Theory of relativity that space and time cannot be considered separately. There is no absolute time from which God could observe a single "now" moment that applies to the whole universe. So in Genesis 2:1 "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array," it seems to me that we should take that to mean that the universe was complete from beginning to end of time as well. After that the Bible begins from Genesis 2:2 onwards to give greater detail to what has already happened. So for the first six days, God was intimately involved in the creation, but not necessary in a temporal sequence as we perceive time, because according to relativity, time progress according to the circumstances of each individual observer. To our senses the differences in the progression of time are not apparent, but they are there.

Among the many verses that describe God's involvement in every aspect of our lives are John 1:3, Matthew 10:29, and Job 12:10.

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    Although this seems more like an Einstein view, rather than Evangelical, I am trying to understand it. How would you apply it to the time and space of dropping an apple to the ground. Is God distant in the event or very close?
    – Mike
    Oct 7 '12 at 9:31
  • When it says in Matthew 10:29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care," that would include apples also. I mention Einstein because I think it clarifies the confusion that has been present for a very long time about the role of God in the world, which I take it is the root of your question. The idea that God sees the entire history of the universe before him has been around for a long time, but with relativity being more commonplace it makes eternal God more understandble.
    – jcohen79
    Oct 7 '12 at 15:48
  • Ok, plus one then for Viewing the omnipresent love of God with an Einstein twists. By the way, I can't help asking are you a Jewish Christian?
    – Mike
    Oct 7 '12 at 16:08
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    My parents were Jewish but I was atheist until about 10 years ago, when I noticed that the Bible matched up surprisingly well with modern physics.
    – jcohen79
    Oct 7 '12 at 17:41
  • That's ineresting! I guess that explains the Einstein part. Cheers.
    – Mike
    Oct 7 '12 at 23:57

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