Biblical Science vs. Reductionism

Traditional science has worked under the assumption that reality can be reduced to smaller and simpler elementary parts. This is called reductionism.

However, some pioneering thinkers have taken the view that nature is complex even on its most fundamental levels. Physicist David Bohm believed that quantum entities contained subtle and complex inner structure.

Theologically speaking, if the universe was created by an Infinite God, then it must have had its beginning in unfathomable complexity.

This raises an interesting question. If the Word, which existed before creation was God, and all things in the created world came from the Word (John 1:1-3), does Scripture contain a pre-space and non-physical substrate that is infinitely complex?

Like science, traditional theology believes that the biblical stories are reducible to the simple meaning of its words. But, if the Holy Word was communicated to the human race from God in heaven, shouldn’t its stories contain deeper and more complex ideas?

This is exactly what scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg actually discovered. The Holy Word, like the physical world it generated, contained a similar patterning principle and template, whereby the deeper one probes, the more wonderful the spiritual message becomes – gaining new powers of abstraction until its message finally transcends the comprehension of mortal men and women.

Angels can grasp these more intricately beautiful teachings woven into Scripture, but its deeper levels of God’s truth and divine wisdom ultimately transcend angelic comprehension as well. Angels call the Holy Word “the great deep.”

Swedenborg suggested, that because all earthly men and women are interiorly spiritual beings, they too possess the higher levels of mind that angels enjoy. But these higher cognitive functions only represent latent powers, which need to be opened up through a willingness to learn deeper spiritual truths and a commitment to spend some effort on training the mind to think in new ways.

Swedenborg labored nearly thirty years of his life to help people acquire this deeper knowledge through extraordinary books that challenge and exercise the mind to distill higher meaning from mundane language. If this interests you I recommend that you contact the Swedenborg Foundation and order Vol.1 of Swedenborg’s Arcana Coelestia (Secrets of Heaven).

It is a wonderful opportunity to make your life more valuable to the Lord God in heaven and to humanity on earth.

Posted on January 8, 2009by thegodguy

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Scripture and the structure of reality

Those who have a faith-based worldview believe that God created the manifest universe. In fact, John 1:1-3 informs us that everything in the created world has its origins in the Holy Word.

If we contemplate John’s words rationally, rather than simply as a faith requirement, Scripture seems to be implying that the structure of the universe is patterned after the structure of God’s revealed wisdom.

Many physicists now believe that we live in a multi-dimensional or multi-leveled universe. As you move up this hierarchical ontological ladder, things are not only becoming more fundamental, they are becoming more abstract, expanded, non-local and non-physical.

In my upcoming book, Proving God, I argue that God’s Holy Word—which existed from eternity, was sent down from heaven, where its message found embodiment in the terrestrial words of human language. This divine order was the template for the multi-dimensional structure of the universe. Scientists call this order top-down causality.

Few theologians have considered the fact that if God’s Word came down from heaven, its original dynamics could not have been worldly, terrestrial, or physical. In other words, Scripture, on its most fundamental level, could not have described spatial qualities or physical events.

Heaven is certainly a non-spatial and non-physical realm. Therefore, for the Holy Word to exist in such a rarefied pre-space realm, before creation, it must have contained more abstract, expanded narratives with non-physical meanings. In fact, these higher meanings could ONLY treat of things referring to God’s holy qualities and the holy qualities of the Lord’s heavenly kingdom.

In the same way that energy and process can transition downwards into forms of stabilized matter, God’s Holy Word is a multi-dimensional document by which its primal sacred meaning descends into the constraints of time, space and matter, and its message takes on the appearance of a book containing literal history.

Reversing this top-down divine process through the human mind’s ability of symbolic abstraction while reading Scripture is what leads to spiritual enlightenment.

In other words, in the same way that matter and energy become more dynamic as the constraints of physical law are removed in higher levels of activity, the meanings of the stories in Scripture also become more dynamic when the constraints of the literal meanings of its words are removed.

That God intended for us to distill higher levels of meaning from the Holy Word is evidenced by the fact that Jesus spoke in parables only!

The Book of Revelation informs us that we will see the Lord in all His glory when He returns in the midst of clouds. If we remove the constraints of the literal meaning of the words “coming with the clouds” to its higher, psycho-spiritual equivalent, we will understand something deeper. Clouds symbolize mental obscurity.  God’s “return” will involve His breaking through our mental obscurity and doctrinal fog by revealing these higher levels of meaning to the human race.

The process of revealing these higher meanings is happening right now in the world. These higher meanings will shake things up for both scientists and theologians. The Second Coming is going to be an earth-shaking paradigm change.

Posted on December 6, 2008by thegodguy

https://thegodguy.wordpress.com/

http://www.provinggod.com

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Science, Religion and Enchantment

I belong to a growing group of individuals who are seriously interested in trying to unify science and theology. Certainly, if God created the world, He knows what quantum physics is.

I am attempting to show in my next book, Proving God, that the scientific laws of the universe have their origins in God’s laws of Divine LOVE.

It will be beneficial to describe to you the current state of affairs, as simply as possible.

Physicists now believe that fundamental reality consists not of physical “stuff,” but of pure potentials, called quantum possibilities. These possibilities, or tendencies to exist, represent dynamics that do not fit into classical descriptions of motion. A quantum entity can be in many places at once, almost as though it were a non-physical wave representing a range of possibilities striving to find tangible physical existence.

So nature, at its fundamental level, is a world of striving and pure endeavor. The wonderment in all this is that when quantum potentials become real events in time and space, they create coherent and stable structures. These structures gain in complexity over ages and ages until nature has brought forth the human brain with all its intelligent functions and profound self-awareness.

Science refuses to see this process of moving from potentiality to actuality, from actuality to stable structure, from stable structure to complexity, from complexity to consciousness as purposeful. At the quantum level, they believe reality consists of irreducible chance. This is because science feels it must describe reality from physical principles only (naturalism). Scientists will even concede that if reality has emerged from a metaphysical principle, then the mystery of agency in the universe will not be considered a real scientific topic.

So science is not necessarily as concerned with truth as it is with finding materialistic models that will offer predictable and testable explanations.

Traditional religion, while believing that the universe has its origins in a metaphysical principle, still offers us little help here. Religion concerns itself with God’s laws of salvation and God’s covenant with humanity. Current theology offers few rational insights as to how the laws of salvation or spiritual evolution might be connected to physics. God simply creates one set of laws to run the physical universe and another set of laws to save our souls. This thinking is as equally wrong as scientific thinking.

The only way to unify science and religion is to find a similarity between physical nature and God’s nature. Dissimilarity points to imperfection. But if God is Infinite Love and Infinite wisdom, no imperfection can be predicated of God. Besides, the ubiquitous law that nature always proceeds in the most economical way requires a top-down causal link between God’s nature and physical nature. (Unless you favor deism and believe in an impersonal Creator.)

Since we have been discussing fundamental reality from both a scientific and theological perspective I would now like to jump into the mind of a child who sees reality as enchanted. We often see children drawing pictures where they put a “smile” on the face of the sun. Children see everything in the world as being “alive.” That is why children respond to stories where animals, trees, and even rocks can talk.

As Jesus pointed out, we must become more like little children. While this refers to the spiritual challenge of adults returning to a state of innocence, the Lord is not implying that we should also abandon intellectual pursuits. Getting to heaven is not a move away from an intellectual grasp of the ultimate reality, but to be enlightened by it.

A scientist sees fundamental reality as being dead. A child sees reality as fundamentally alive. Who is more enlightened?

If a living God is at the center of the universe then the universe must, at its very heart, be alive! This is why the laws of the universe are so bio-friendly. The laws of nature have emerged from, and are analogous to, God’s Divine Nature. This Divine Nature is Infinite LOVE!

Can the dynamics of LOVE represent an exact science? Yes!

As I stated above, physicists see fundamental reality as a striving, or propensity. Love is also a propensity and endeavor, but it is a conscious, living endeavor. Scientists also say that quantum possibilities “collapse” into stable forms of matter, which lead to greater complexity and ultimately to larger scales of organized systems (unities). Love also seeks to unify things in the same way nature pursues a course of self-organization.

In this century, humanity will come to understand that LOVE is the creative psychical force and ultimate formative substance of the world, and the reason why everything in the universe is non-spatially and non-temporally interconnected.

This is just a small taste of what I will be covering in my soon to be published book, Proving God.

Posted on December 3, 2008by thegodguy

http://www.provinggod.com

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The Organic Bible

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?

Yes—love!

Website: http://www.provinggod.com

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How to turn a rib into a woman!

It is actually a very simple thing to do. All it takes is to convince yourself that you are more important than God.

Of course, this will mean that you will have to close your eyes and be asleep to the truth, but that is precisely what happened to Adam when he was feeling lonely in the Garden.

In that famous biblical story, Adam was put to sleep and a woman was miraculously formed out of his rib. This story is actually a metaphor for any person who begins to favor self-guidance over God’s guidance.

To favor our own prudence in all things is to put oneself into a metaphysical snooze. In this diminished mental state of self-delusion, something relatively dead is turned into something beautiful to behold. Our imagined importance becomes what is most attractive to us, even though when compared to God, it is not nearly as vital.

A rib is a bone in the chest—an area also occupied by the vital organs. A rib bone is less vital and less animate than a heart or lung. Therefore, to create a woman from a rib is the psycho-spiritual equivalent of putting lipstick on a false assumption. It represents attraction to a belief in something of little importance to our eternal welfare.

Eve represents choosing self-love and self-worship as our life-long partner.

Such profound insights and revelations contained in Scripture are hidden to those who insist that Scripture is only to be interpreted from the literal sense of the words. This will NOT keep us from going astray—every Christian denomination has resulted from different interpretations of the very same words.

Theologian Emanuel Swedenborg wrote twenty volumes of work solely to reveal to humanity the deeper levels of meaning contained within Holy Scripture. These deeper interpretations will provide more rational evidence for the authority and sanctity of God’s Word, provide more relevant theology for the modern world, and finally, provide a higher vantage point by which all can have a similar understanding of spiritual truth!

Oh, I left one important thing out. Exposure to these higher levels of meaning will make you less likely to have your rib go through such a transformation. The only thing that can come from a “rib” is a parody—a feeble or ridiculous imitation.

Posted on October 23, 2008by thegodguy

http://www.staircasepress.com

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How Does One Burn In Hell?

For one thing, there is no physical fire in Hell because it is not a physical realm. So this is a question for physics as much as it is a question for theology.

What does it really mean to “burn” in hell?

First of all, we should consider what damns a person in the first place? Cruelty, hatred, avarice, revenge, adultery, deceit, hypocrisy and impiety can all do us in. These “evils” are all derived from the love of self.

Everything an individual thinks and does is ruled by their intentions – that is what one ultimately seeks and loves. We often describe a person’s excitement as getting all fired-up. Perhaps hell is a realm where an evil person is consumed by the “flames” of his or her own self-love.

Anger is often described as a “smoldering” from within. It usually is ignited by some frustration, whereby something important to us is thwarted or foiled. Those with evil leanings often smolder when others do not do their bidding and promote their personal goals and self-interests. Inwardly, such individuals harbor a burning hatred for others.

Therefore, hell would be a “place” where evil souls go and are eternally frustrated by not being able to dominate over others or hurt others. Does not such a punishment fit the crime? How would justice be better served?

The idea that God would burn people in a culinary fire, and miraculously keep them alive to have their flesh cooked to an eternity is barbaric, and, contradicts the idea that God is Infinite Love and Infinite Wisdom.

Even on earth, we mortals have the sense to create a system of justice whereby the punishment fits the crime. Is God less rational and fair than we are?

Goodness is its own reward and evil is its own punishment.

Heaven and Hell are psychoscapes. That is, not existing in time or space, they are reflections of the qualities of our hearts and minds. The Lord’s heavenly kingdom is a kingdom of mutual love. Those who put themselves first cannot endure such a realm and seek to remove themselves from God’s influence, where they can worship themselves.

Such individuals are eternally thwarted by the self-interests of others, who also constantly seek their own prominence in all things. In such an infernal society, happiness can never be attained. This is what is meant by, “burning in hell.”

Does this make sense to you?

Posted on October 21, 2008by thegodguy

Website: http://www.staircasepress.com

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Do We Underestimate God’s Intelligence?

We often describe our lives as having peaks and valleys. No one misinterprets these words as meaning geological formations. Metaphor, that is, using physical objects to represent psychological qualities is a common part of our language. It is an example of the human cognitive function of thinking in abstract terms.

Why is it that we do not ascribe this ability of abstract thought to God, who reputedly possesses Infinite Wisdom?

For instance, in Genesis 11:2, we are given a scenario in which a population of people journeyed from the east and settled into a valley in the land of Shinar. It is in this valley that the people begin the construction of a tower that would reach up into heaven itself.

This biblical story is taken as historical truth by most theologians, clergy and the laity.

But a funny thing happens when we look at this story as a metaphor. It becomes much more theological, more doctrinal, and provides a much more potent lesson that is relevant to our lives.

So let’s put on our thinking caps and move beyond our habitual minds. Let’s look at Scripture with an eye to seek out not simply historical truth but deeper, psycho-spiritual truths.

In ancient times people would turn to the east to worship God. Since the sun rose in the east, this gesture symbolized orienting oneself to God’s enlightening truth. Therefore, when we read Genesis 11:2, journeying from the “east” means people putting distance between themselves and God. In fact, it symbolizes turning one’s back on God.

Settling in a “valley” represents that they had settled into a lower form of worship with a diminished and inferior understanding of religion. In other words, the worship of God hit a new low, and had sunken to a new level.

It is from this low and inferior level of faith that they decided to build an edifice that could reach heaven. Such an edifice was founded on a worship built on incorrect and false principles. This false worship is further underscored by their choosing to build the tower with bricks. Since bricks are man-made, they signify worship made artificial, that is, a fabricated worship.

Like bricks fired and baked hard in a kiln, all false principles are forged from the “fire” of self-love and self guidance – further evidence of a people putting psychological distance between themselves and God.

Bitumen was used for the mortar. Bitumen is a sulfurous or inflammable substance. It denotes the passion of self-love that can burn in people’s hearts. Self-love is in opposition to loving God and the neighbor. Only true spiritual love keeps things connected and glued. Therefore, the mortar (bitumen), which represented the quality of their selfish love, could not hold their edifice of perverted doctrine and worship together. As a result, they became a confounded people and were at variance with each other.

If you do not think that God would stack levels of deeper meaning within the words of Holy Scripture then you are most certainly underestimating the true nature of Infinite Wisdom.

 

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