An Unfolding Future

Evolution

An Unfolding Future
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

To fight the concept of evolution is to fight the core meaning of biblical faith, which is a generous balancing act between knowing and not knowing. Unbelief is to insist on total knowing now—by myself! As people of faith, we believe that God is guiding this mysterious universe, although much is hidden from us, both in the past and the future. “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and the human heart has not conceived, what God has prepared for those who love God” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Judeo-Christian believers, in particular, should have been the first to understand and promote a philosophy of progress because they had an Absolute Source and Goal to ground the trajectory.

In 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) published his findings that revealed the universe was expanding. Many began to imagine that if the biggest frame of reference—the cosmos—was still unfolding, then maybe that is the pattern of everything. The latest evidence shows that this expansion is even happening at an ever-increasing rate! It seems to mirror the increasing rate of change with each new technological and scientific breakthrough. This rapid change is scary and unsettling. I can see why people are panicking and trying to find some solid ground, a fixed point to the turning world. Fundamentalist religion and identity politics seem to be running the show now, and I can even understand that. But God has never “circled the wagons” to regain control and stability. God only moves in every larger spheres and orbits, which is what we mean by calling God infinite, eternal, or almighty.

I have no knowledge of where the universe story might be fully or finally heading, but I can see what it has already revealed with great clarity—that knowledge builds on itself, is cumulative, and is always moving outward toward ever-greater discovery. People who cling to the past and resist change have a hard time participating in God’s and their own future. Perhaps this is an appropriate application of Jesus’ somewhat problematic words, “Anyone who has will be given more . . . but anyone who has not, will lose what little he has” (see Matthew 25:29). This is only true in the realm of spirit and wisdom which increase and evolve with use. Material reality decreases with usage, which is why our consumer worldview is unsustainable.

In the words of Thomas Keating,

There seems to be an intent or a plan in creation to bring into manifestations revelations of the Unknowable One that awaken in us the greater and greater capacity to love. . . . Evolutionary consciousness is extremely important . . . and science has vastly increased the understanding of how the immensity of the universe continues to expand and how its infinitesimal quality continues to unfold.

God is more and more trying to move the human race to the next stage of consciousness beyond the rational, technological, dominating worldview . . . recognizing the truth that there is only one self ultimately and this is God manifesting in us. [1]

References:
[1] Thomas Keating with Carl J. Arico, God Is Love: The Heart of All Creation Guidebook (Contemplative Outreach: 2016), 22, https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/product/god-love-%E2%80%93-heart-all-creation-guidebook.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Evolution Is Another Name for Growth,” “Evolutionary Thinking,” Oneing, vol. 4, no. 2 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2016), 111-112.

If we are created in the image and likeness of God, then whatever good, true, or beautiful things we can say about humanity or creation we can also say of God—but they’re even more true! God is the beauty of creation and humanity multiplied to the infinite power. —Richard Rohr

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