God as Spirit in a World of Science

March 8th, 2012 / 4 Comments

I’ve recently concluded that an important place to begin thinking about how God acts in our world is to think carefully about what it means to say with Jesus, “God is spirit.”

Most Christians believe Jesus of Nazareth provides the best clues for knowing truth about God. Jesus reveals these clues in his life, teachings, miracles, compassion, death, and resurrection.

Although Christians believe other clues about divine action are present in creation because God acts as initial and continual Creator, they try to be especially attuned to the revelation of God manifest in Jesus Christ and recorded in the Bible.

One particular passage has captured my imagination recently. Jesus says, “The wind blows where it chooses. You hear the sound of it, but you do not know from where it comes and to where it goes.”

These words come just prior to a biblical passage familiar to many Christians: John 3:16. In this passage, Jesus tells an inquiring scholar he must be born again.

The scholar asks how an adult could return to his mother’s womb. Jesus answers by saying this second birth derives from the Spirit.

Biblical translators render the Greek word, pneuma, as “wind” or “Spirit” in this passage. The word refers to moving air (wind), to the divine Spirit, or both. 

I believe this passage about wind/Spirit can contribute to the work of constructing a theory of divine action consonant with Christian scripture and much 21st century science. Of course, other passages of Scripture are helpful too.

In a series of forthcoming blogs, I want to sketch out a theory of divine action in light of scripture and contemporary science and philosophy. My hope is that the theology of nature that emerges can help us all think more clearly about God as creator and redeemer in a world of wonder.

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John W. Dally

I am looking forward to this discussion.
The role of the Spirit in creation has been more or less relinquished to the Pentecostal movement and anthropocentrism. It is time to widen our scope of understanding the place of the Spirit in our world.

I am looking forward to you contributions to this important subject.

Hans Deventer

Good topic! Looking forward to your thoughts, Tom.

Will Bronson

Having recently attended a conference at the Noetic Center in CA exploring presenter Nassimi Haramein’s Grand Unified Theory (see theresonanceproject.org) in physics, it continues to impress me that the margins between spirit and what we call the physical world are indeed fuzzy. Of course my wife, a longtime student of Tibetan Buddhism has been telling me that for a long time. The miracles of Jesus, the mystic tradition of the church have much to say about these arbitrary boundries. Looking forward to the discussion.

Kris Bos

I think this is a very good topic. I never have thought about science and “God the Spirit.” I think this is a very exciting topic because science is so evolutionary, but we as Christians know how the world was made and so forth.

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