The Hidden God: He Knows How to play the Game


[Written in October 2013, returning from a short trip to Iceland]


Church in Reykjahlid from 1962, built at the place of the previous church

In 1729, the lava masses from the nearby volcano Krafla had already destroyed all the houses in the village Reykjahlid, in the Northeastern part of Iceland. People took refuge in the church, and together with their pastor, prayed day and night that the lava flow would not reach them. And God heard them: the lava just stopped outside the surrounding wall of the church. A clear sign of divine intervention.

But let’s play devil’s advocate for a second: why do we know it has been divine intervention? Maybe there was an obstacle or a crevice that hindered the lava to follow the path straight to the village’s last building?  Or the eruption had lost strength, or a side crater had just opened, diverting the flow? Or the church was situated higher than the other parts of the village? Who knows? It is just a matter of timing, initial conditions….No clear sign of divine intervention. No Angel appeared to stop the lava, no ice-storm just came at the right time at the right time despite not being the time of ice-storms.

The lava masses just stopped, they just followed natural laws. And God knows how to play the game, He invented the rules. And he plays them: it’s called ordinary divine providence.

And, btw, God did not need to interrupt the game to design new features of “irreducible complexity”.  Those possibilities were part of the rules provided: it’s called evolution.

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