Saturday, April 25, 2009

Maxium Spiritual Entropy

On Friday evening I was lucky enough to attend a discussion entitled The Aquinas Lecture Series at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. The topic was “How Natural Theology can enrich Theology” by Rev. Benedict Ashley, O.P. If the speaker doesn’t tell you something about how comprehensive this discussion was, I’ll let you know now that I plan to write four articles on all of the components of what Father Ashley spoke about. His knowledge of physics and science in the universe and the blatant love of Christ that came through was a combination of wisdom gifted and spirituality lived. “God loves each and every one of you and you are unique,” he said.

Father Ashley has lived an interesting discipleship of Christ, writing books and continuing to lecture in St. Louis where he now resides. He mentioned that the talk he gave was an opening discussion for his next book, thus the variety of the topics in this one lecture.

Here is a basic outline of the four major areas that I picked up in his lecture. The main topic was the view of modern scientists and their denial/struggle/refusal to use the natural forces as a clear reflection of something greater than the ‘nature of man.’

The first article I would like to present to you revolves around the analytical tendencies of both modern scientists and theologians. This was actually an answer to an audience member’s question, but the thought struck me so deeply, I am determined to define it. Consider the process a scientist goes through, gathering data, taking small steps, and many times failing miserably. The successful scientist is decisive and driven to succeed in this one discovery/goal what have you. Consider the way of the theologian, who many times is called to the job by taking small steps, and who uses his physical research as spiritual based findings. There are interesting and clear parallels that I intend to decipher further between these two inner missions.

The second topic Father Ashley spoke of was the information that the study of the universe reveals about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. His main question for us is a revelation of how science reveals the manner of the Trinity.

The third topic I am interested in developing for you is the part of the discussion on the historical aspects of man’s view of heaven and how God has revealed to us through the medium of man, these things. And as in the New Testament, the Gospel of John tells us that there are so many things that were not revealed to us. Father Ashley discussed both heaven and hell and an analogy of cause and effect.

The fourth topic is an article delving into the reasons for a change from natural science to historical science. Father Ashley suggested that modern science does not see the constants in the natural world so well as it used too. Maybe I can find some of those scientists by the time I write the article. He mentioned the physical versus the natural often during his talk which I will explain in this article.

Two more weeks of graduate school! How tickled am I! I am excited just to be able to do the reading to write about these topics. Father Ashley suggested an author named Anthony Rizzo who has a few books on physics and theology out now, I didn’t catch the whole name but google, “The Science of Science.”

(Found it: )