Faith in Time of War

Ilia DelioIn 1953, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote an essay entitled, “The Agony of Our Age: A World That Is Asphyxiating,” in which he pointed out that after eons of slow expansion, the human species has entered a phase of compression. Every part of the globe is now inhabited by the human species, and we are confronted by a new Earth reality: limited natural resources and an expanding population.

The internet and mass media have shrunk the globe even further by seamlessly linking minds across national borders and across different languages and cultures. So, on one hand, we have a rich variety of human persons linked by common interests, and on the other hand, an expanding population competing for limited resources and land. This flood of sheer humanity, Teilhard wrote, is seeping through every fissure and we are becoming enervated both intellectually and physically.

Despite our networked world, we find ourselves in a disagreeable closeness of interaction; a continual friction between individuals who are alien or hostile to one another; a mechanization of persons in the corporate collective mentality of big business; and the increasing insecurity of daily life with national threats of terrorism and nuclear war.  Our capacity to breathe freely has become severely compromised.Teilhard wrote:

Just like a train in the rush hour — the earth is coming to be a place on which we simply cannot breathe. And this asphyxiation explains the violent methods employed by nations and individuals in their attempt to break loose and to preserve, by isolation, their customs, their language and their country. A useless attempt, moreover, since passengers continue to pile into the railway carriage.

Instead of being exasperated by these nuisances from which we all suffer, or waiting vaguely for things to settle down, would we not do better to ask ourselves whether, as a matter of solid experiential fact, there may not possibly be, first, a reassuring explanation of what is going on, and secondly, an acceptable issue to it?

Indeed, what is going on? This is the question we are asking ourselves around the globe today. Teilhard thought we needed to reframe our question. Instead of asking, “what is happening?”, we should ask, “what lies ahead?” For the one thing we hold together, on every continent and in every language, is the future. Evolution is the description of cosmic life open to the future.

Evolution is another way of speaking about change and complexity. Life is dynamic and moving toward something more:  eppur si muove, as Teilhard wrote. All life is changing, including divine life. God is changing and we are changing.  And it is precisely because God is changing that we are changing; and because we are changing, God is changing. This fundamental reality of change, embraced by process thinkers but rejected by Catholic theologians, must awaken us to a new reality. The insistence on divine and human essentialism (as if we actually knew what nature is), which both monotheistic religions and political systems live by, is killing us. New emergent capacities in nature, such as hybridization, show us that there are no essential natures. Rather, to live in an evolutionary spirit is to let go of structures that prevent convergence and a deepening of consciousness, and assume new structures that are consonant with creativity, inspiration and development. Alfred North Whitehead noted in the early 20th century that creativity is the ultimate principle of life, including God’s life, an idea rejected by Catholic theology. However, without creativity and novelty in nature, we humans would simply not exist.

Evolution requires trust in the process of life itself; from a faith perspective, there is a power at the heart of life that is divine and lovable. In a sense, we are challenged to lean into life’s changing patterns and attend to the new patterns emerging in our midst.To live in openness to the future is to live with a sense of creativity and participation; to make wholes out of partials, to risk, get involved, challenge  what is static and fixed by developing new models of practice and beliefs that energize life in God.

The fact is, we have not accepted evolution as our meta-story. We treat evolution as a conversational theory or a specialty of science. The lack of integration between science, philosophy and religion has created a fractured earth. Politically, we have fiefdoms and kingdoms; socially, we have tribes and cults; religiously, we have hierarchies and patriarchies. There is no system that supports and sustains cosmic evolution. One of the reasons is simply an inadequate grasp of evolution. The term itself frightens people, as if evolution renders us less human or less special as human. We do not talk in terms of evolution, nor do we think in terms of evolution. Our everyday lives are conceived as static and immutable, as they always have been or should be. However, fixity is contrary to the fundamental principles of nature itself. The process of evolution reveals nature to be in a constant flux of openness to new forms, new relationships and new processes that not only sustain but optimize life in the face of environmental changes. The implicit law of evolution is this: life seeks more life. There is a constant urge in nature to transcend toward higher levels of relationality (complexity), and with higher levels of relationships emerge higher levels of consciousness. Today, we have reached a complex level of global consciousness operating on very old systems that cannot support it.

While evolution is pressing in the direction of convergence and globalization, the political powers of the world are resisting convergence and fighting to maintain autonomy. Patriarchy is threatened by relationality; that is, patriarchy is anti-evolution.  Patriarchs and oligarchs will muster power at all costs to maintain control. Patriarchal anti-evolutionists want to remain stable, fixed, tribal and nationalistic.They reject convergence, which includes shared space, shared resources, shared policies and shared power. However, in Teilhard’s view, we must converge or we will annihilate ourselves.

This is our threshold moment, and we need to get on board with evolution. If we get nothing else straight about our present moment, it should be this: Stability is an illusion; the only real stability is the future. Thomas Berry summed up the problem of our age this way: “We will go into the future as a single sacred community, or we will all perish in the desert.” We are starting to feel the effects of perishing in the desert. If we are to overcome our anxiety and doubt about the future, we must trust the power of divine love in our midst. How can we best consolidate our efforts and come together for that which lies before us, the future, into which we are being fearfully but irresistibly drawn? This is the true test of our faith, not only faith in God but faith in the world; for there is no God without world. When God and world are separated, or when we place God “above” and earth “below,” then we make ourselves ripe for extinction. Without the living God in the heart of matter, we are left with no other choice than to become gods, and human gods are deadly.  It is time to resist every patriarchal institution and to creatively advance with new models of religion, education, politics and culture. If we can invent robotic cars and send humans to the moon, then we can reorganize and reinvent ourselves. God is inviting us to this challenge and we must respond.

You can find a Spanish translation of that article here

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  1. Alice MacDonald on March 14, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Thank you Ilia! Spoken as only a true prophet can speak! You encourage those of us, born and raised and loving being Catholic to shed the vestiges of Patriarchy, put on the new skin of evolutionary hope and move into the unknown future with courage and Love, open and expectant!

  2. Joe Masterleo on March 14, 2022 at 11:24 am

    Not exactly sure how the process theology/evolution models and their optimistic outlook on humanity attaining unitive consciousness fast enough to reverse its calamitous ways, jives with the words of Jesus and Paul. Those words forecast the earth as becoming essentially a mess, one that heralds the end of the church age and necessitates the Second Coming (and Kingdom Age) for a bail out.The latter implies more faith in the divine intervention side, than in the human side (the God incarnate in and as evolved, superspiritualized humanity getting the redemptive job done.) As we all know, the terrestrial game may be over by then. How does one reconcile these hopeful, optimistic models with Scripture, which seems to have far less faith and confidence in mankind
    than in God throughout its pages? Or for that matter, it seems to have more faith than God-in-man, judging by Paul’s letters as to what havoc happens when humanity assembles itself tribally to do God, today’s modern debacle.

  3. Alice MacDonald on March 14, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    We can find whatever we are looking for in Scripture. Acts 3: 21 seems to look towards a time of “universal restoration.” But not time in a linear sense. The “Time” will come and is already here within each of us. I remember a priest once saying: “We are primarily a people of promise (universal restoration) and therefore a people of hope. But in hope is this challenge. Not hope, based on faith in God alone but hope based on faith in who WE are as the Beloved of God.” It really is all up to us and I do believe this seed of hope is taking deeper root…..maybe even because of the present suffering.

  4. John on March 14, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Jesus and Paul lived in the Apocalyptic era in extreme poverty in a system that believed only war could bring peace. In many ways we are still living under the same approach where the people of power continue to trap the masses in poverty for their own benefit. We have not even come close to evolving to a accept the idea that justice brings peace. This would require the understanding that ignorance and want must be eliminated and that social and economic equality must become the norm. Power and control used to establish dominance of others which maintain slavery must be the evolution that Jesus recognized, or the Apocalyptic era will continue. In principle, the evolution of the Human concept of God may not be in tune with the evolution of matter in this universe which is in fact always turbulent.

  5. geemapox on March 14, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    God is the divine creator; humans are created in God’s image; it follows that creativity will improve all the issues, problems and worries we face. For instances, instead of continuing in the routine of burning fossil fuels (a conservative or complacent position), humans must go green for energy; and instead of rejecting people who want to immigrate of seek refuge in our blessed country, Americans would do right to accept as many as possible. Creativity means change to greater variety instead of sameness. As God does, so humans in all places ought to do. It’s not only natural (logical) but also devout (theological).

  6. geemapox on March 15, 2022 at 9:46 am

    John’s comment verges on a counsel of despair. His second-to-last sentence appears to have words missing, as I can’t paraphrase it for a coherent statement. His final sentence clashes with the faith of Julian of Norwich, to whom “all will be well,” as well as Theilhard de Chardin and many other wise people. Yes, there is turbulence, and the foreseeable future portends much more. Nevertheless, when humans cooperate with God’s grace, justice and peace spread healthily. This is a view shared by many mystics and countless people of faith and good will. Behaviorists and pessimists have a right to their opinions. In our day the philosopher Ken Wilber holds that humanity has been evolving toward a maturity that accepts differences and does not fear otherness, recognizing that all the many comprise one whole. Humans have evolved out of primitive survivalism and tribalism, past nationalism and imperialism into international cooperation and care for creation, recognizing the dignity of not only all humans but all creatures. (The “conquering hero” Putin is a throwback, as are several would-be and real tyrants elsewhere.) Progress is slow and painful, but history manifests social and spiritual advancement. On the other hand, I cannot agree fully with Alice’s “really all up to us,” because for us with God all things are possible. Remember the last blessing of the risen Christ, peace. Remember too his wish, that “all may be one,” as he and his heavenly father are one. (Different yet united as one.)

  7. Denis on March 16, 2022 at 7:18 am

    Yes reading geemapox gives me Hope . Thank you .

  8. Ray on March 16, 2022 at 10:24 am

    My take on trusting the evolutionary process of life is our unquenchable thirst for power driven by our egos. As long as we can’t surrender to the cosmos, we will do battle with it!!

  9. geemapox on March 16, 2022 at 11:33 am

    You’re welcome, Denis. All credit to God.

  10. trumplog on March 16, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    Searching in a time of war!
    In the midst of Putin’s raging war and horrific attempt to annihilate and kill in Ukraine, I have been wondering where the voices of religious leaders are in this. Perhaps I am not tuned in to the right channels. Someone said the Pope has been modest in his speaking out (maybe he’s changed by now) because he wanted to hold back in case he could serve as a mediator. The respective dueling orthodox churches of Russian and Ukraine are described as being at odds with each other, with the Russian church backing Putin, and not gleeful but perhaps pleased that the Ukrainers misbelievers will get their comeuppance. So respect for the orthodox traditions have diminished in my eyes. I have come to the point where wonder in what sense the Scriptures are inspired, if leaders steeped in Scriptures can act in this way. The incarnated Jesus as suffering servant, who told Peter to put up his sword at Gethsemane is far from the gold bedecked religious oligarchs presiding over church rituals and supposed Christian communites. Is the Cosmic Christ pleased at this. Or does he weep again, together with the weeping of numerous sufferers. Yes, we all die, from this earthly climate; a hundred years from now practically no one who is now on the planet will be here. For much of us, our departure will be much sooner. So we are destined to leave this dimension. But it is not God’s will that we be offing each other in advance through brutality; and giving commands from a distance, and pushing buttons and levers that unleash projectiles of death, killing babies, mothers, old people, and soldiers who are grown up fetuses who have been cared for and raised into a barely young adulthood with countless acts of love and care … for what end?
    George 3/16/2022

  11. geemapoxg on March 17, 2022 at 10:30 am

    A plague on both their houses? Start a war, invade and Russia is wrong. Defend the victim country and Ukraine is wrong, a purist would say. Pacifists in Myanmar are right not to have resisted Chinese invasion and occupation. They are not free, though alive. Right or wrong, all are loved and forgiven by God, as they do not know better, are not as wise as they ought to be. Christ told Julian of Norwich not to be troubled by the prevalence of evil in her time, including long brutal wars and a massively fatal plague, because God blesses everyone and every thing. She says in conclusion, all will be well. Peace.

  12. Barbara Ciaramella on March 18, 2022 at 9:29 am

    Scripture says “I am the Lord. I do not change.” (Malachi 3:6). We also know that God is Love. If God is Love and Love does not change, in what context are you saying that God is changing also?

  13. Mary Par Jones on March 21, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    I needed the synthesis of what Ilia said. All the components of WE are addressed. I need to be able to see WE as a collective in evolutionary Chistogenesis. We are sacred, fluid, ever present energy working actively for all the values that support the welfare of earth and it’s inhabitants. Yes we make known our awareness and expose the elements tearing down earth and all inhabitants. We also need the wisdom to help people value life. There is a huge difference between recognizing what needs to be done, and getting people to readily alter the use of their resources. As Jesus taught “ For those who have ears to hear.” ilia is a prophet and I have been valuing all the ways she has been able to teach, as she has always connected to my heart, but I was open, ready. She was, is new wine skins. In my nursing background I worked with developing algorithms, by the time I was retiring we were using them in psychiatric hospitalization. We needed to show patterns of improvement that reflected “Empirical Evidence” in order for the hospital and Home Health to receive reimbursement for our services. This is very difficult to do depending on the chronicity of an individuals status as for in some mental illnesses acute episodes can come on quickly and spiral fast with slow recovery, now jails are often the alternative. I was retiring at a time when hospitals were shedding their mental heath units. I was so flummoxed over how we were going to assist these people as Health Care was treating them like step great grandchildren, in other words, never able to quite get to them. ALANON was not funded, and needs were not being met. I started reading Ken Wilber, for, at the time I was really hungry to understand systems theory and how it was interconnected with all. No matter whatever ones take on Ken is, none can deny how he tied together the wisdom writers work from so many many fields. You saw many writers beginning to make sure they recognized the Quadrants in their writings. Parts of his theory are taught in college classrooms everywhere. Ilia, in addition to her many charisms has a system theories mind. I ‘m not just talking knowledge base but she has the faith and development stage to SEE Systems, to see the patterns, as many of her readers do. People like me need that to be able to reflect on it and integrate systems. The frightening element is that wealth has a very heavy hand and yes the patterns in our leadership are heavy handed. Whether this is the place or not I do proclaim our present president is a blessing. What I’m trying to say, we need to remain open, work in faith on ways to contribute in action and resources. Stay connected and remember, vertical time, horizontal time is always sacred in the Now and we are all eternally here Now. Be courageous, love generously. Follow your practice daily. Make the time. Make sure the people around you know it is the same as air, food, water and sleep. Take charge of
    Your silence.

  14. Ernie Tamminga on March 22, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    In response to Barbara Ciaramella: Love changes every time it touches another heart. Love grows continually and becomes deeper and more magnificent. God in God’s fullness does not change, but our experience of God changes continually as it grows, and our experience of God is God-for-us, since no one can look directly into the face of God. In this way, God changes every time God touches another soul, heart and mind.

  15. […] en tiempos de guerra” “Faith in Time of War” by Ilia Delio translated by Juan V. Fernandez de la […]

  16. Eduardo Valentin-Morales on March 23, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    My son, who is deeply commited to his faith, shared his thoughts with me about your article, which I sahred with him. These are his comments:
    “Several things came to mind as I read the article. The most glaring is the fact that I don’t think she ever explains why classical theistic paradigms either a.) do not correspond to modern scientific models of the world and b.) doesn’t explain how a classical theistic, phenomenological perspective in any way directly contradicts what modern scientific models observe. So I finished the article, and I got a general sense of what she means by open theism, but I didn’t come away convinced that it is more harmonious with modern science and that, by extension, classical theism contradicts modern science because, well, she didn’t actually address it in the body of her article.

    Another rather curious thing was that quite literally everything she says that makes open theism distinct from classical theism simply isn’t the case, in the sense that nothing she wrote is new, novel, or unexplored territory. Her definition of open theism is an aspect and forms part of what we consider classical theism both in Western understandings of God as found in Christianity (with the likes of Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, Dionysius, and the Capadocians), Judaism, and Islam (seen very clearly in Ibn Arabi’s philosophy of the unity of being and Surhawardi’s Illuminationism), as well as what we see in East asian religions’ views of Brahman particularly explicated in the great Hindu Vedantic philsophers like Adi Sankaracharya and Sri Ramanuja.

    The part that seems in many ways most criminal is the seeming lack of understanding that of course classical theism and modern science won’t “agree” on things, but in pretty much every instance not on a lack of intellectual rigor on the part of the former, but rather due to the intrinsic limitations of both ways of observing the world. Religion and spirituality might make “creation stories” but it would be absurd to presume that people who wrote them, and those who read them after, thought that they were providing a mechanical description of the unfolding of events of creation. In fact, it’s wildly anachronistic to presume that ancient authors even had our own post-enlightenment modern sense of a mechanical materialist world-view. In the same vein, by speaking of modern science as if it has provided sufficient metaphysical answers to spiritual realities is equally folly. Science cannot provide meaning to the world, how could it? Science, by virtue of it’s empirical limitations can only provide you data about observations, but you can’t craft a story out of that, per se, that requires an additional set of metaphysical criteria that base material/mechanical observations quite literally cannot provide. And that’s good! Modern science allows for a mechanical view of the world that is useful when creating new technology or medicine. However, if we ask the question “Why does water boil” science’s answer will be “Because there is an increase in the kinetic energy of the molecules causing a phase change from liquid to gas” while the “religious” answer will be “Because I wanted to make a cup of tea.” Those are both true, but obviously they’re answering two different questions as well.

    In an effort to create something new, it mostly seems like the author has taken an aspect of classical theism, namely, that God cannot be understood in a vacuum but rather as a creative dynamic reality that we consistently engage with (something that is purely obvious once you realize that God isn’t some “super-being” out there in the sky but is rather Being, relationality, love, mercy, justice itself, while at the same time also not those things, and yet must also be personal because that’s the only way you can come to truly know [gnosis not epistemes] something), and labeled it as though it is in direct opposition to the classical theist perspective, which just seems… ridiculous?

    A fine article, but erecting divisions between world-views where none exist is simply not something I find appealing.”

    I asked him if he would not mind that I share his thoughts/comments with you and he accepted. So, his information is below. Thank you, Pastor Eliezer

  17. Barbara Ciaramella on March 24, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you Ernie Tamminga. I really appreciate your reply and helpful perspective! Ancient Scripture does teach that no one can see the face of God and live. Then, St Paul taught me that I see dimly now as in a mirror, but one day I will see the Face of God and live. At that time, the dim mirror will be gone, we will have life to the fullest, our joy will be complete because we see our God as He is. This is one of the promises of Jesus.

    God, Love is the driveshaft of all that is. Yes, this Force, this Being appears to change but It is really being gradually unveiled for what It truly is and has been and will always be. The veil drops as Love draws all things to Itself, as Jesus proclaimed. It is not God, but we who will be a new creation, capable to stand in the presence of the Energy, the Beauty, the Love at the heart of creation. So, it is we not God but we who are changing as He continues to create in us and through us.

    That’s at least how I see it. This is one of the reasons why I have this intuitive sense that it is error to think that God, Love changes. Either way, each of our perspectives is beautiful and hopeful. Blessings to you Ernie!

  18. Craigus on March 28, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    It’s estimated that the human population can only reach approximately 11 billion. We’re born, we have time and we die. We are not going to saturate the earth like so many doomsday movies depict. When we talk about “future” we’re not simply talking about the future of collective humanity, the planet or even the universe. Something incredible occurred when beings evolved onto the scene (and in the same way we don’t know what nature is, we don’t know what evolution is). The evolving 14.5 billions year old Universe stepped out of itself. But we are not simply the Universe becoming conscious of itself. We are also a myriad of tiny universes that are both separate and fundamentally one at the same time. So any talk of collectivism must take this into account. In other words, the future of these tiny universes is also a very being part of the story. Death is not the end of that story. But this does not seem to be taken into account. It seems that we are being presented with a choice, a false dichotomy. Either we are one and therefore in opposition to those who think we are separate (or even those who simply think we are both one and separate) or we are separate and in competition with each other and the Universe.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with a diversity of tribes. Nor do I think there is anything anti-evolution about recognising that there are fundamental building blocks and hierarchies of reality that don’t change. A seed does not change in the sense that it becomes a rock or a bird. It changes in the sense that it grows into what it fundamentally is in potentiality. In some ways the idea of collectivism is anti-evolution. When you live in a community understanding your separateness as well as you’re oneness is fundamental to relationship. Understanding your separateness requires understanding where you stop and others begin and vice versa. I think the idea of collectivism is something that can be used by the powerful to control in much the same way that climate change is often used to make money.

  19. […] read a simple two page article, Faith in Time of War: Hear world renowned theologian and Franciscan Sister Ilia Delio challenge us to keep the faith in […]

  20. astralstar17572 on April 2, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Evolution is a process of love. To say there are ” no essential natures ” is a statement to the incredible power of convergence. Who knows what may come in the future? Right now, I cannot foresee any of the “sacred cows”, like breath and heart beat, going away. However, I do know that everyday exciting and creative unions are expanding our horizons of god while some do there best to destroy the promise of this tomorrow.
    Why? Fear. Greed. Love of the material. I call it “Failure to launch”. Failure to launch out of me and into we.

  21. Robert Nicastro on April 2, 2022 at 12:38 pm

    In response to: Eduardo Valentin-Morales. Thank you for sharing your son’s thoughts on Ilia’s article “Open and Relational Theism: A Challenge for Catholic Theology” (2/14/22). While his concerns are not uncommon, they do reveal some fundamental misunderstandings of open theism. Thus, I will attempt to offer some clarity.

    By way of brief overview, open theism is a contemporary mode of theological discourse that is more consonant with our present scientific descriptions of reality, as well as the central theme of divine love that permeates both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Open theism, in other words, offers a logical and coherent metaphysical system that engages with the best science of our age—one that breathes new life into the biblical text so that it might adequately address our spiritual needs.

    Governed by a static and hierarchically ordered worldview, classical theism addresses the question of God’s nature, especially as it relates to the world, through the lens of Aristotelian philosophy. As a keen observer of the natural world, Thomas Aquinas notably synthesized the doctrinal propositions of Christianity and Aristotelian metaphysics, a brilliantly conceived theological construct that nicely fit the Ptolemaic description of the cosmos.

    His system of thought came to be known as “analogical theology,” whereby a perfect and eternal God (“the unmoved mover”) who stands above and outside creation cannot possibly be affected by the world or its creatures. Aquinas writes: “A real relation of God to creatures is not a reality in God.” Whatever happens “in time,” in other words, is only related to God externally and makes no difference to the identity or internal life of God. Put bluntly, the only real relation of God to the world, therefore, exists in our imaginations.

    While Aquinas’ metaphysics of being was inherently consistent with the cosmology of his time, the insights of twentieth-century science have furnished us with a picture of the cosmos that is radically different from previous centuries. We now understand reality as a “relational process,” an open, dynamic, energetic, and complexifying web of interconnectedness that can be traced all the way down to the quantum level of life. Steeped in the philosophical writings of Alfred North Whitehead who developed a new metaphysical system based on the deeper implications of modern science, and Charles Hartshorne who developed the emergent theological and philosophical issues of Whitehead’s speculative thesis, open theism decidedly heeds Aquinas’ admonishment that “a mistake in our thinking about nature is a mistake in our thinking about God” and so gives us a view of God more reflective of our experiences and reality.

    In contrast with classical theism, open theism portrays God as dynamically involved in all things, both in nature and in human history, as the “chief exemplification” of this relational process. In an open and relational world, God is understood Absolute Future: the supremely personal and unbounded lure of love in the creative advance of endless possibilities. Unlike classical theism, open theism invites us to embrace a God who is organically and intimately related to the world and all its events; it invites us to actively share in the process of bringing the world one step closer to the completion of God’s vision for it. No longer spared from the spoils of time, God truly shows love and care for the world by truly acting along with it and being affected by it.

    Not incidentally, this dynamic and developing God-world relationship is directly reflective of many biblical accounts. In the biblical imagery of the Pentateuch, for instance, God is neither a fixed, immovable Being, nor has human history been foreordained. Rather, Israel’s free response continually alters not only its destiny but the very nature of God. In his classic work The Suffering of God, Terence Fretheim offers a helpful explication: “God is absolute only in regard to divine love for people, which remains forever and is foundational to all other actions, even wrath. God becomes angry with people only because God first loved them so very much. God is absolute in regard to love, but in terms of the various aspects of the relationship with humanity, God changes in response to the myriad of human decisions.” By being related to humanity in the flow of events, God does not know the future, but God and humanity co-creatively construct the events that give rise to the future. According to Fretheim, the application of the language of past, present, and future actions and feelings to God is meaningful only if God changes in that relationship with creation and humanity.

    In summary, all of our theologizing is done within a worldview. As a result, open theism, not unlike what Aquinas did in the thirteenth century, seeks to integrate the philosophical shifts ushered in by modern science in order to offer us a more coherent discourse about the God-world relationship. In addition to its faithfulness to biblical thought, open theism provides a truly effective form of religious expression by creatively and responsibly “resynthesizing” our inherited theological beliefs for the purpose of adequately addressing present spiritual challenges.

  22. astralstar17572 on April 4, 2022 at 6:10 am

    Mary Par, I am also a retired RN who sees Ilia as a light to the animus of our ancestors. Once, everyone’s ancient roots believed that EVERYTHING had a soul. From rocks, to trees, to mountains and lakes, everything and everyone had a soul and was sacred. We we not separate from the world we lived in.
    Time passed, much changed, faith was perverted. We were taught a static, dead god. Evil. Vengeful. Warlike. We were taught that we were created last to dominate…not learn.
    How sad it is when only a few are learn the rigors of critical thinking and then use their knowledge to keep others submissive, dependant and poor.


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