The Hands of God

Defining an Arm’s Length

Suppose I intentionally leave first-aid kits in the middle of a field, knowing that two rival gangs will fight each other on that grass, on that very night. If one of the injured stumbles upon it just in time to dress a life-threatening wound, have I saved his life? Suppose I dropped it with only vague hopes that somebody out there might need it?

Suppose that I run a company that assembles first aid kits, and one of my employees drops a few of them at the aforementioned location, acting on my instructions?

Suppose I pass the message through one of my other employees instead of telling him directly?

I am, of course, thinking of nothing more than the extent to which causality can be applied to the hypothetical involvement of God in the world’s events. If I had been inclined to think on the subject longer, I may have come up with a more elegant illustration.

Tracing an event back two or three steps cannot truly explain why it happened (especially when we are not agreed upon why events are happening in the first place). I do not know how so many people can argue over how God does—or does not—work in the world, digging themselves neck deep in uses of the words “coincidence” and “intervention,” while failing to recognize this.


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