DA Carson on ‘The God of the gaps’


I just finished reading DA Carson’s How Long O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil. This is a well written book (as all of Carson’s books are) and it is a good introduction to the subjects of suffering and evil. I came across this paragraph near the end of the book and I thought that you might enjoy it:

The sad truth is that science has taught many of us to adopt some version of the ‘God-of-the-gaps theory.’ In this view, God sets everything in motion and allows it to chug along in line with the laws that he himself sets in place. But every once in a while God intervenes. He actually does something. We call it a miracle.

Biblically speaking, of course, this is nonsense. I would never deny that God has created an ordered universe. But the biblical view of God’s sovereignty is that even now, at every second, he sustains the universe. Indeed, he now mediates every scrap of the infinite reaches of his sovereignty through his Son (1 Cor. 15:25), who now is ‘sustaining all things by his powerful word’ (Heb 1:3). A miracle is not an instance of God doing something for change; it is an instance of God doing something out of the ordinary. That God normally operates the universe consistently makes science possible; that he does not always do so ought to keep science humble. Above all, this view of God’s sovereignty means that we should draw comfort and faith even by observing the world around us–as Jesus did.” (216-217)

I thought this would be a good reminder to everyone who visits of just exactly where we stand in this world. Thank God that all things are held together in Jesus. Thank God for Jesus: The Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thank God for salvation through Christ alone. Thank God for his mighty work of Creation. Thank God for evolatheists who remind us each day of the wonders of our hope in Christ and the Will of God.

Thank God that the suffering and evil in this world is not entirely without meaning. Thank God that though we have trouble in this world we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world.

Soli Deo Gloria!



  1. Joe

    I do not believe that is the usual definition of “god of the gaps”. God of the gaps is usually used to refer to theists that insist on attributing certain little understood physical phenomenon to god and then as those phenomenon become understood must shrink the role of god to the new “gaps” in current scientific knowledge.

    Four hundred years ago god had to be involved in keeping the planets in line, today he is relegated to big bang and abiogenesis.

    Theists that realize that any god that created this universe obviously prefers these things to operate through natural processes able to be exposed by science, do not have the “god of the gaps” issue and are able to accept modern science and maintain their god belief.

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