Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Quantum Theology

I've been reading a book titled "Quantum Theology" as an assignment for my spiritual direction training. I've loved quantum theory for a long time, I just don't always understand it as well as I'd like. This is the field that "Process Theology" evolved from. In what I've read so far, I see process theology in what I'm reading about quantum theology. It's very complex, but basic in some ways. If you look at it from the scientific view, you can see radical changes in how we think. In classical science everything is sort of black and white. You recognize the terms; cause and effect, deterministic, reductionistic, rational and objective. The classical worldview was (and continues to be) neat, efficient and easy to comprehend. Quantum theory terms aren't easy; transcends external objectivity, energy flow is the primary essence of reality, wave-particle duality, collapse of the wave function, nonlocality, and practical usefulness. Quantum theory dramatically alters the way we look at the world - it isn't as black and white as traditional science suggested. Scientists are making the switch and new things are learned everyday. In fact, the potential for learning is unlimited and it is impacted by our interaction. There is no such thing as objectivity. Everything is in relationship and everything is connected! In process theology the past always impacts the present with God in the midst creating new possibilities for the future - for the good of all creation. Wow - imagine a theology based in relationship!! One of my struggles as a pastor is embracing a theory that is post-modern and being excited about the new, while dealing with leading congregations that are stuck with old paradigms. The church is always lagging behind what is happening in the world - there is huge resistance to changing because there is so much fear surrounding change. But change is what must happen, not for the sake of declining memberships or rejuvenating churches. Change must happen in order for us to understand ourselves in relationship to God (however the Divine is named), to others, and to all that God created. Our scientific, objective, cause and effect classical science has so impacted our faith traditions that it will be difficult to break out of those constraints. We like things that are solid, black and white, easy to follow and understand. Do this and you'll get that. Faith and relationship simply do not work that way - and yet that paradigm has been around for so long it's deeply ingrained. How do I lead a congregation to the new? How do I counter what has been taught and accepted for so many years? People who are hungry for the new are seeking it outside of the church, they are going elsewhere to find their spirituality. How do I create change? For the sake of the world, and the created order, and for the sake of relationship, we must indeed change.

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