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Unlike the age of the Biblical writers, we live in a world ruled by science, technology and secular thought -- a world that is interconnected in ways that a few decades ago was unimagined. In my previous post, Moving Beyond a Human Image of God, I set forth the problems of the classical picture of God as a supernatural being. In this post, however, I will not debate the existence of God because I do not think that the argument is winnable by either side. I have come to understand God, not as a transcendent Zeus-like figure, but instead as the infinite creative source of existence. By "creative source" here, I do not mean to say that I think of God as creating existence by waving a magic wand from afar, but rather that all of existence -- matter, energy, the physical laws which govern the universe, even our consciousness -- comes out of God.
I do not see this "coming from" God as just happening at one particular time in history, whether this was 6,000 years ago according to Genesis or 13.7 billion years ago according to the Big Bang theory, but it happens continually. My view of God was also influenced by another 20th century philosopher-theologian, Alfred North Whitehead, the founder of process theology. To me, this understanding of God can not only work within the confines of modern science (since all scientific laws come from God as part of the creative existence of the universe), but it also provides a powerful direction for how we experience God. One challenge we face when thinking about God in this way is how do we talk about, much less worship, such a philosophical sounding God? What symbols or metaphors might we use to open our minds to a new way of thinking about God that works in the 21st century? The ancient church of St Andrew's, ClevedonFor old pictures of St Andrew's church please see St.
It’s 70 years ago today since Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed in a Nazi concentration camp after he staunchly resisted Hitler and the genocidal persecution of the Jews. Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian whose Christian beliefs compelled him to actively speak out against the evil acts perpetrated by Hitler. From the hostages in Beirut to the Siberian 7 in Moscow—and now the Christians facing torture and beheadings in the Middle East—God has used Ray Barnett to help Christians worldwide who are being persecuted for their faith. It’s a story of a man, disadvantaged by dyslexia, who has witnessed miracle after miracle through trusting in God's strength. Today we understand that our world is governed by physical laws from the subatomic realm to the cosmic, so where do we find room for God to act? God as the potter, the watchmaker or the chess master has lost its relevance for many in our post-modern world. This understanding of God is rooted not in Creationism, Intelligent Design or a desire for a father figure, but rather comes from this simple question posed first by the ancient Greek philosopher Parminedes (b. I do not see God as a separate being, but rather God is the center of being within me and everything around me.


For Whitehead, God is not a static supernatural creature but is the essence of the creative process of the universe. A God truly immanent within existence means that as the universe expands and evolves, so does God. The ocean is the "ground" of the wave in the sense that the water molecules of the ocean make up the essence of the wave.
What I may have lost from the illusory "comfort" of believing in a supernatural father figure who may or may not intervene on my behalf, I have more than made up for with a new realization: I can touch and experience a God that is the ground of my being (though I'll never fully understand or see God) at a much more intimate level, because God is the spark of light within me. It is easy to picture Michelangelo's God as the grandfatherly figure on the Sistine Chapel, but how do we relate to the God of Tillich and Whitehead?
In the decades since his execution for those beliefs, he has become one of the most widely read and inspiring Christian thinkers of our time. Ray Barnett’s story will encourage you in your own daily journey with the Lord, and remind you that with God’s help, mountains can be moved.
The response to this critique by some is to close their eyes to science and the realities of existence.
For me, God must not just be consistent with scientific and rational thought but must embrace it.
God did not form my distant ancestors out of clay as mythological tales might suggest if taken literally; rather, God is what gives me life and gives existence its very structure.
God does not sit in a different dimensional heaven and watch us go about our daily lives, occasionally intervening for good measure. This view of God also does not mean that God is directing and determining every creative act, but only that the power for existence comes out of God. From a creative and dynamic perspective, the power of the ocean creates the individual existence of the wave.
This view of God also leads to a more embracing view of morality because I share this power of being with each of my fellow humans in true brother and sisterhood, and I share it with the natural world as well.
When you visit CC you will find a group of people excited about what God is doing and will be doing through this Christ honoring church.
She has written more than 40 books on the spiritual life that together have sold over a million copies. We could do well to revisit his books and teachings in the context of the 21st Century persecution that is taking place in today’s world. How can we conceive of God today in a way that is honest to our intellects while satisfying to our hearts?
Such a strategy is not sustainable in a society in which almost everything we touch and encounter during our daily lives depends on the laws of physics, chemistry and biology working.


Essential to the creative power that God bestows on the universe is the ability of its constituent parts (including us) to self-create. Her often provocative statements – she has called the Catholic Church “one of the last bastions of sexism” and characterized its position on abortion as “more pro-birth than pro-life” – have made her a heroine to some, a rebel to others.
Others take the atheistic approach, one I also do not find satisfying because I sense in the core of my being that there is meaning to existence and that the daily physical reality of our world is not the end of the story. 205), drawing on Plato, described God as "the One" -- the source out of which all being emanates, including the human soul. The scientific laws that govern the universe -- the randomness and uncertainty inherent in both quantum mechanics and evolution, for example -- are then not contrary to God but become crucial elements of the divine creative process.
The wave emanates from the infinite ocean, and at the end of its existence, it returns to the ocean. Each individual wave is connected to all other waves because they share the ocean as their ground. Existence is finite, individualized and unique, yet underlying existence is a connection to the infinite. The church has to model that changing for the better, not clinging to the past, but reforming the future. Benedict advocated a life of prayer and work, and stressed the importance of hospitality, humility and community. He wrote when the Roman Empire was in economic decline and under threat from outside forces – a time, the Benedictine Sisters say, not unlike our own.SISTER ANNE WAMBACH (Prioress of Mount St.
Benedictine Monastery): Benedict was trying to in his day show people that there was another way to go about life. We have been trying to make people aware that Benedictine spirituality is for all people, not just for religious women and men, and has been from the beginning. This is an old tire factory the sisters transformed into The Art House, a place where children learn to play instruments, dance, write poetry and paint.
VALENTE: One of Sister Joan’s newest and most cherished projects is the virtual monastery she and the other sisters have created for the Internet.
People who come into the site to pray in the morning—we have a prayer site—to pray in the evening, to join discussions, to read the basic books and talk about them.



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