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This was my second letter to my friend in prison. Recently, when I found out that he has been sharing these letters with some of the other prisoners he lives with I thought that perhaps there would be value to share those letters here too.
This is letter number two, the "Elohim" letter. The use of this word in Genesis is strange, and one might wonder why YHWH is not used there. Further, are there clues about the trinity in that word? I explore this in this short letter.
More "Letters to Prison" episodes coming soon!
Natural theology, (once also termed physico-theology,) is a type of theology that provides arguments for the existence of God based on reason and ordinary experience of nature. This distinguishes it from revealed theology, which is based on scripture and/or religious experiences, and also from transcendental theology, which is based on a-priori reasoning.
JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings novel is a modern epic. Many have wondered how one man managed to encapsulate the culture and history of an entire fantasy world and its people. In a number of ways, his success in this regard is due to his deep understanding of the process of sub-creation, and his deep love for the creation of fairy stories as he called them, not as a surface metaphor for things in our world, but as existing within a rich context of sub-created reality, consistent unto itself. Knowing this, its easy to see why the land of "Middle Earth" is a consistent and believable monotheistic world of Natural Theology demonstrated by its setting, races, and the plot of The Lord of the Rings.
In this episode, I explore why.
For a while now I have been writing a friend in prison. Recently, I found out that he has been sharing these letters with some of the other prisoners he lives with.
This is incredibly humbling and brings new meaning to the phrase "there but by the grace of God go I..." so, I thought that perhaps there would be value to share those letters here too.
This is letter number one, the "Functional Ontology and Genesis" letter. I'm respecting my friend's identity by not sharing his identity, nor his letters specifically. These are my words, but you can perhaps infer his questions regardless.
Medieval man was smarter than we give him credit for. He knew full well the earth was round, respected the hierarchical nature of the universe and social structure, and saw creation as a wonderful and precise mechanism powered (literally) by the sustaining love of - and for - God.
But even the heliocentric model isn't really "right." Just because a model works, doesn't mean it's the most accurate. Something can be functional, even "right" and still not be completely right. We westerners don't really like not being completely right, so we sometimes defend our positions to the exclusion of new data or theories just because we don't want to add to or change our set ideas.
John H. Walton argues that the Genesis chapter one is a functional description of creation as opposed to a material one. This was a major shift in my thinking, yet it ties in perfectly with everything I've been writing about for years now. Functional creation is everywhere.
If God were to express himself from within the universe, how would it look? For my money, exactly like a Father God whose Holy Spirit lives within and among us, and Human Son who walked, taught, died, and rose again to kick the door to death off for us to follow into life.
Join me for a look at some possible modern ways of thinking about the non-linear God.