While there is a growing movement to attempt to unify science and theology there is also a healthy fear on both sides of this important endeavor. Scientists do not want biblical faith to distort science. Theologians do not want science to distort biblical faith.
Since I belong to this new movement, I would like to provide some helpful suggestions.
The universe is not static. Everything is in process. But it is a process by which change creates constancy. For instance, all the wonderfully distinct organic processes and changes taking place in the human body maintain its integrity and stability. This dynamic of change creating constancy is called a system. All systems are subordinated and coordinated through successive and simultaneous order.
The universe is unified. Existence is relationship. Everything finds its distinctiveness through togetherness. This cosmic scheme seems worthy of a God of Love.
Does Holy Scripture portray such an ecological wisdom?
The faithful hold that God created the world with all its laws and processes—from the Word. Therefore, does the Bible contain the same divine “envisagement” as there is in the scheme of the created universe?
If so, what kind of proof can there be? Current Christian theology and doctrine is hopelessly inadequate for meeting such a profound challenge. Scripture seems to only offer us historical events, some of which are farfetched and require a suspension of the laws of physics.
This is the challenge I am taking up in my next book, Proving God.
Thanks to theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, we have the necessary material for showing that the Holy Word and science are indeed one! He maintained that the Holy Word transcended historical fact.
The Bible is a multi-level document that contains higher meanings abstracted from the literal sense of the words. In the same manner in which today’s scientists understand top-down causation, these higher levels of meaning flow down and terminate into the words of ordinary terrestrial language.
Without having access to these higher meanings, it is impossible to detect the universal patterning principles of process and order hidden within the narratives of Scripture. Scripture conveys the same repeating cycles in its stories that we find in the circular progression of time and the reproductive cycles of organic life.
For example, unless one has a knowledge of these higher meanings (called correspondences), there would be no intelligible means for understanding how the separation of the waters on “day two” of Genesis corresponds to Lot being separated from Abram, which also corresponds to discernment in human cognition, and, the breaking up of food stuffs in the process of biological digestion. Each of these examples represents a “step two” in the divine order of some whole-part process.
My upcoming book will make these things clear and show that the reason why the laws of nature are so bio-friendly is because they have emerged from the dynamics of the Lord God’s living Word.
Is there a “defining essence” in all this similitude of coherent and interrelated process?