March 1st, 2018 by JDVaughn Leave a reply »

Participating in Creation

Thursday, March 1, 2018

In her book, God’s Ecstasy: The Creation of a Self-Creating World, the little- known but outstanding theologian Beatrice Bruteau (1930-2014) makes some excellent points about why contemplatives ought to embrace evolution:
People who identify themselves as contemplatives may shy away from science for a number of reasons. . . . They may feel that it’s too impersonal, has no human warmth. It’s too technical, too abstract, doesn’t have immediate emotional appeal. . . .
Before we consider whether we are interested in the scientific study of this universe, let us ask whether God is “interested in” the universe, how it is structured, how it works, how it’s developing. If we believe in a Creator-God, who is still in the act of creating this universe, how can we pretend to be interested in God but not interested in what God is doing, in what (presumably) God is interested in? And if we were to attain our contemplative ideal of sharing in the divine life, would we not be sharing in the activity of creating the universe?
The conclusion seems to be that to share in the divine life I must accept the vocation of consciously living in this self-creating universe. . . . [This] means that I need to know something about the whole thing, how it works, how it’s moving, how to take my place in it, make my meaningful contribution to this general improvisation.
Joining in the creative work is really central to the whole contemplative enterprise. Cosmogenesis—the generation of the cosmos—can be seen, as Teilhard de Chardin saw it, as “Christogenesis,” the growth of the “ever greater Christ.” [1] This Christ has been “growing in stature and wisdom” (Luke 2:52; read “complexity and consciousness”) these last dozen or so billion years and is nowhere near finished yet.
So there are two motivations for including some knowledge of science in our contemplative lives: one, we need to understand God’s artistic work in order to appreciate it properly and relate lovingly to the Creator; two, we need to know something of the work in order to join it, to participate in creating the world from here on. This last is the real way of loving, that is, by joining in the life of the beloved.


The Piercing Question
By Oswald Chambers

Do you love Me? —John 21:17

Peter’s response to this piercing question is considerably different from the bold defiance he exhibited only a few days before when he declared, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Matthew 26:35; also see Matthew 26:33-34). Our natural individuality, or our natural self, boldly speaks out and declares its feelings. But the true love within our inner spiritual self can be discovered only by experiencing the hurt of this question of Jesus Christ. Peter loved Jesus in the way any natural man loves a good person. Yet that is nothing but emotional love. It may reach deeply into our natural self, but it never penetrates to the spirit of a person. True love never simply declares itself. Jesus said, “Whoever confesses Me before men [that is, confesses his love by everything he does, not merely by his words], him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8).
Unless we are experiencing the hurt of facing every deception about ourselves, we have hindered the work of the Word of God in our lives. The Word of God inflicts hurt on us more than sin ever could, because sin dulls our senses. But this question of the Lord intensifies our sensitivities to the point that this hurt produced by Jesus is the most exquisite pain conceivable. It hurts not only on the natural level, but also on the deeper spiritual level. “For the Word of God is living and powerful…, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit…”— to the point that no deception can remain (Hebrews 4:12). When the Lord asks us this question, it is impossible to think and respond properly, because when the Lord speaks directly to us, the pain is too intense. It causes such a tremendous hurt that any part of our life which may be out of line with His will can feel the pain. There is never any mistaking the pain of the Lord’s Word by His children, but the moment that pain is felt is the very moment at which God reveals His truth to us.


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