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An Inductive Approach To the Concept of God. Biblical Faith in the Light of the Theories of Entropy and Evolution-an Experiment in Experiential Theology

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The essay assumes that (a) the method of modern science is inductive, (b) that the scientific theories of emergence, evolution and chaos currently provide the most inclusive interpretative framework for all dimensions of reality and (c) that these theories have to be seen in the context of the second thermodynamic law, the law of entropy. These assumptions pose the following problems to theology: (a) The biblical doctrine of creation can be interpreted in terms of modern scientific insight provided the concept of God, defined as the ultimate source of reality, is presupposed. However, (b) the assumption that this source of reality is a personal God creates difficulties, as does (c) the doctrine of a pending redemptive transformation of reality. The paper argues (a) that personhood is defined by communicative competence which cannot be restricted to symbolic interaction, (b) that evolution produced a human mind which cannot help but transcend experienced reality towards what ought to be, which again implies an ultimate authority, and (c) that eschatology is a protest statement against experienced reality in favour of what ought to be in the name of this ultimate authority. None of these assumptions are irrational in terms of scientific insights.

Affiliations: 1: School of Theology University of Natal Pietermaritzburg Private Bag X01 Scottsville, 3209 Republic of South Africa


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