Terminology Tuesday: Divine action

Events brought about by God understood as an intentional agent. It is characteristic both of the biblical narrative and of classical theism to see God as a being who acts. Traditional theologians have distinguished between God’s actions in creating and conserving the world and its general providential ordering and God’s actions in special or particular providence and miracles at particular points in history. Some contemporary theologians do not think of God as an intentional agent and so regard all talk of divine action as metaphorical. Others are willing to accept God’s activity in creation but regard “special acts” as events that are brought about through the normal nature order yet have a special revelatory function. Philosophical debates continue about the implications of divine action for God’s relation to time and space. See also actions (divine and human).


Evans, C. Stephen, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002).

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Richard Porter is apologetics ministry leader at Calvary Church of West Hartford in Connecticut and a Chapter Director with Ratio Christi. Richard has studied apologetics for over a decade. Prior to his conversion, apologetics was a huge part of what God used to reel him in to the faith. From the popular works of Lee Strobel to the more academic defenses of Christianity by William Lane Craig, apologetics has always caught his eye. He has a passion for equipping Christians to defend the faith and hopes to one day be in full-time ministry. He also has aspirations to pursue an academic career of his own if the Lord permits. In his spare time Richard enjoys exploring New Testament studies and analytic philosophy. In addition to his intellectual pursuits, Richard also enjoys kettlebell and martial arts training – particularly Brazilian and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. He also has two sons that are being trained as young apologists and martial artists.

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