Sunday, August 12, 2012

LOVE AND TRUTH: Questions

A parishioner this morning asked me to say more about love and truth. When I was young, I was very struck by M. Scott Peck's statement in The Road Less Traveled: "Love is the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." In the Christian context, love is force behind all life, because God is love. In the context of the culture of the school at which I work, love is grounded in respect for all living beings. There are many more ways to approach defining love. I welcome any and all ideas.

Common wisdom in Northern California asserts that science is a "truth system" and religion is a "meaning system." I disagree. I say that both are truth systems. Since in my view, truth is not a single thing, but a relationship between many things, one way I can relate to truth is by practicing my religion and believing in science, or vice versa. Science is one of a number of things that have radically changed the world in which we live. Another is the substitution of change as the guiding principle of perfection rather than the old Greek idea that perfection can only be unchanging. 


In a wonderful old magazine I used to read before it went out of print was the following article: 

Infinity Applied Glimpses of God in the Numbers
John Noonan
"Mathematics is the alphabet with which God has written the universe," according to Galileo. Here, John Noonan explains that as we discover new mathematical truth, we gain a greater understanding of the character and mind of God.


I wish I still had the article so that I could pass it on. But the strange properties of infinity: you can add to it, but it will not get bigger, you may take away from it, but it will not shrink, made me realize that our infinite God will be ultimately unknowable to a finite creature. I can only know God by learning to recognize God when God chooses to reveal Godself to me. God has revealed a great deal to me during my studies of ecology, evolution and natural history, all of which hinge on the interconnected nature of life. So, also, does Paul's Body of Christ theology.

This stuff works in other religions as well, although the means of expressing it would be different. Learning the languages of other religious traditions has been another sign to me that there is truth out there.

All comments welcome.

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