PREFACEDoes God have a Big TOE?
We are called to be
the world. Not
it. But not
out of 
it, either.
This book holds themirror to a single paradox: We must live the historical moment we are in without letting thatmoment explain us. Christianity must bring to every culture an indigenous faith that is true to itsheritage without Christianity’s becoming a culture faith. If every book has one idea, this is it forthe one you are reading.The cardinal sin for modernity has been antiintellectualism, a dissenting spirit againstcelebrating the powers of the mind that has gripped large segments of the Christian church. Thesin governing much of the church today may be ahistoricalism or antihistoricalism. Largesegments of the Christian community, finding the intellectual and social company of modernismmore congenial than that of postmodernism, are in retreat, having disconnected from theunprecedented, restructuring changes taking place all around them.The Christian mind is failing to comprehend the times, our times. The New Lightapologetic chronicled in this book is devoted to enfranchising and energizing Christians toconnect their faith with the indigenous historical place in which God has chosen them to live. Itaims to jolt Christians into a sense of their own time, out of their fashionable out-of-itness. Forthe God who exists beyond time is the God who lives, moves, and has being in this time.
The ultimate hospitality is, then,an entertainment of divine mystery in human life.
Benedictine/biblical scholar Demetrius R. Dumm
This book also hopes to provide a prefacing sketch of what a sixth alternative toethicist/theologian H. Richard Niebuhr’s fivefold typology of what the relationship of Christianfaith to human culture would look like: a Johannine paradoxical model of Christ in-but-not-of culturc.
Missiologists have become quite sophisticated in the task of Paul’s missionary mandateto “be all things to all people” (1 Cor. 9:22). The gospel has been inculturated into the thousandsof indigenous cultures around the world through the latest in Bible translation, theologicalanalogy and homology,1and spiritual disciplines respectful of the local traditions and customs of the native inhabitants.But missiology must also be defined to extend ethnographically in time as well as in space. It willnot do to have a multicultural but monochronological church.The missionary expansion of the gospel today is as much generational and chronologicalas it is geographical. In the same way Jesus entered into the culture of his day in complex ways;in the same way Paul in front of Areopagus presented the gospel to the Athenians by quoting twoof their own poets (Epimenides and Aratus of Crete): so the church is to be a dialoguing fellowtraveler with culture, exhibiting a critical but not unfriendly relationship to history.
The body of Christ must be in conversation with the body of knowledge of every day. Out of context, divorcedfrom indigenous space and time, spirituality is but another word for a sauna.This radical opening to God in trust; this constant process of historicalincontextualization; this acceptance of the strange, the new, even the unwanted: these are theessences of the Gospel of John’s interactive, paradoxical in-but-not-of model. The New Light
apologetic, like Abraham in Genesis 18, greets all historical guests, even the unwanted ones,cheerfully and expansively, open to the God who is already at work in the world, the God whowill not be without a witness. From this position of hospitality, faith addresses the wider publicculture, the world beyond the church. In fact, our world of historical and intellectual experiencebecomes a primary arena for the church’s own search for truth and faithfulness.
The church mustbe able to exist in both temporal and eternal time, to function at once historically andtranscendentally.The challenge of an in-but-not-of faith is knowing when to stand, timeless andtranscendent as a rock, and when to surrender and let go, releasing oneself to be swept along bythe relevant currents. A believer can become postmodern, or modern, or anything else because inone’s innermost core of being a believer is neither postmodern, nor modern, nor anything else.The deep sense of being in the world is matched only by an even deeper sense of not being at onewith the world.That the title may not deceive: this book is rife with science, but science it most definitelyis not. Neither “quantum” nor “spirituality” are words I use easily or comfortably.Biochemist/information theorist Jeffrey S. Wicken, in calling for theology and science to enterinto dialogue, admits that “I feel diffident about commenting on theological treatises. I know littleabout theology, and much of my commentary will reflect that fact. This disdainer having beenmade, I put aside the diffidence.”
Switch the words “theology” and “science,” and Wicken’sstatement expresses my uneasiness exactly. My presentation of scientific ideas is sketchy, oftenwillfully so. If your interest is in extended treatments of particular scientific fields anddiscoveries, or if you are naysayers to the quest for integration and synthesis, you should bewarned to please look elsewhere. This book will be found in breach of 2contract. Similarly, if you are looking for a conventional, calculated treatment of topics related tospirituality, please pick up any number of good books racked together with this one on librarystacks. “If you are going to understand anything as strange as quantum mechanics,” looking-glassphysicist/philosopher David Bohm has remarked, “you have to be ready to consider some strangeideas.”
The late physicist/mountain climber Heinz R. Pagels calls the current state of reality“quantum weirdness.”
The modern mind will find in this book some weird notions and nervypossibilities. Even the logic is sometimes less linear than cousinly.
 If our senses were fine enough, we would experiencethe slumbering cliff as a dancing chaos.
Moralist/philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Nor is this a historian’s accounting of scientific trends and developments as they impingeon theological and ethical issues. While I can discriminate between good and bad theology, orgood and bad history, I confess to being virtually defenseless against scientific books, and one of the most defenseless against studies in math and physics. More a wide-eyed admirer than asquinting scholar of science, the reader will soon discover that I enjoy the company of themathematicians and scientists insofar as I can follow them. . . which too many times is not veryfar. My learning curve gets left far behind far too quickly and far too often.Besides, whole South American rain forests have been felled in pursuit of the religiousand philosophical implications of quantum physics. True, this fat bibliography has almost all been
produced by physicists or students of physics: Nathan Aviezer, Ian G. Barbour, David Bohm,Fritjof Capra, Freeman J. Dyson, Arthur Stanley Eddington, John L. Hitchcock, Henry Margenau,Denis Postle, Robert John Russell, Rustum Roy, Brian Swimme, Stephen Toulmin, Danah Zohar,Gary Zukav. Unfortunately, little of this literature is known or celebrated in the religiouscommunity, although British theologians are more and more bringing together the new queen of the sciences, biophysics, and the queen mother, theology, as symbolized in the physicist-turned-Anglican-priest John C. Polkinghorne, the physicist/ mathematician-turned-Methodist-laypreacher Charles A. Coulron, the nuclear physicist-turned-Episcopal priest William G. Pollard,and the physical biochemist-turned-Anglican-priest Arthur R. Peacocke.Designed to be read and appreciated on many levels,
Quantum Spirituality
is a hybridwork. After the fashion of that “deconstructive angel of contemporary thought,”
Jacques Derrida,it is written in a genre that is oddly mixed. Part intellectual curiosity, part synthetic bridging, partguided tour through a vast bibliography, part theological rumination, part “preach-3ing it round,” it is fundamentally a roundabout apologetic exercise
standing inside history and“getting looped”--upping the ante of theology to enter wholesale worlds like that of the quantum,the realm most scientists believe to be the most fundamental level of reality. I risk the criticismscome to all who combine genres, who mix metaphors, who cross disciplines, who refuse to beconfined to the questions addressed by a single metaphor of mind or discipline of inquiry becauseI have been inspired by historian/ literary critic Richard E. Brantley. His key insight into thesecret of the theology that fueled the eighteenth-century New Light movement known a~ theEvangelical Revival is this: It brought together into shared space the Enlightenment project (thescientific method and rational empiricism) witL natural and revealed religion.
 I think scientists and theologians have a lot more to
to each other in talking about the sourcesof the religious drive
the hunger for religious thought.
Southern Baptist Edward
Unfortunately, the church is still under the scientific spell of old teachings that scienceitself has long since repudiated. By its own modernist standards, the church is not intellectuallyrespectable. Too many theologians and pastors seem almost proud that they can’t address thereligious significance of t =
0 and have never heard of thermodynamics. I am not so much stickingmy bead into the wisps and vapors of postmodern science as I am reaching in and pulling outconceptual metaphors, especially those released by nonmechanistic physics, and joining them tointerdisciplinary dilations on divinity.It may be that I have, as Wicken accused one theologian, “put too many metaphysicaleggs in the basket of physics.” But I hope that I have not played fast and loose with hard-wonscientific concepts in the interest of communication, or engaged in the dubious practices researchbiologist/humanistic psychologist/feminist Maureen O’Hara dubs “recombinant information.”
 Of particular appeal are, first, the ways in which postmodern scientific thought is now performingsome rather dazzling loop-the-loops, offering us, in the words of German/theologian WolfhartPannenberg, the means whereby science “might lead us back towards a religious conception of mind
. .
and away from the positivistic outlook of the nineteenth century.” Second, the ways inwhich the Christian tradition can itself contribute to our knowledge and understanding of thephysical and spiritual world.
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