Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. – Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

R.E. Slater - T-Shirts I Have Worn in Life



T-SHIRTS I HAVE WORN IN LIFE
MAY REFLECT ME OR MY HOPES


SOME CHEER FOR WILDERNESS, CLEAR AIR, CLEAN WATERS
OTHERS FOR ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATIONS WHICH MIGHT BECOME



T's I'VE PULLED OUT OF THE CLOSET
MEAN SOMETHING MORE TO ME NOW
THAN THEY ONCE DID


SOME T's SPEAK TO ACCOMPLISHMENTS


OTHERS TO INTERESTS AND ABILITY


SOME TO A LIFE LONG PROFESSION
HELPING OTHERS HELPING THEIR CUSTOMERS
CHURCHES, SCHOOLS, AND CLIENTS


SOME T-SHIRTS ARE SIMPLY,  P-R-O-F-O-U-N-D!


SOME I HAVE NEVER WORN
AND INTEND TO NEVER WEAR, EVER


THOSE I HAVE WORN WERE EARNED


AND SHARED WITH MANY TEAMMATES
DRIVEN TO EXCEL


PERSPECTIVE IN LIFE IS KEY
SOME MORE THAN OTHERS


THANKSGIVING SHOULD BE ACKNOWLEDGED TOO:
WHETHER A WONDERLAND IN THE WINTER
OR A PARADISE IN THE SUMMER,
HOME IS ALWAYS HOME
AND LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT


SOME SHIRTS WERE HARD TO FIGURE OUT
BECAUSE SO MANY THINGS NEED MINDING


THAN THERE ARE THOSE SHIRTS
I WOULD PROUDLY WEAR
HAVING MET GOD-SENT MIRACLES
IN ALL WALKS OF LIFE


THIS SHIRT ALWAYS WAS HARD TO WEAR;
I SUSPECT OTHERS FEEL THE SAME


IN LIFE THERE ARE MANY BANNERS TO
BEAR AND WAVE; LET'S DO THESE TOGETHER


ALWAYS, ALWAYS REMEMBER:
EQUALITY IS ALWAYS GREATER THAN DIVISION;
AS IS DIVERSITY OVER MONOCULTURES


POLITICS IS ABOUT DOING THE RIGHT THING
BUT TOO MANY BELIEVE IT TO BE
A FORGOTTEN PRINCIPLE EXCISED
OVER FORGOTTEN PEOPLE


SOME T-SHIRTS JUST SPEAK TRUTH!


OTHERS TO THE EXISTENTIAL CONDITION OF MAN


NOT ENOUGH SHIRTS SHOUT THE NECESSARY,
THE NEEDED, THE MUST DO'S IN ALL THINGS


THAT IN ALL THINGS
WE ARE LOVED
AND ARE TO LOVE

IF RELIGIONS TAUGHT LOVE
WE WOULD NOT NEED RELIGION


AND WHEN I COME HOME AT NIGHT
FROM MY SEPARATE JOURNIES
I REMEMBER WHY I WORE ALL THE SHIRTS
WHICH I HAD WORN OVER A LIFETIME...

TO PREPARE THE NEXT GENERATION
TO CHOOSE THEIR SHIRTS WISELY
AND IN THE WEARING, WEAR THEM WELL.


R.E. Slater
November 24, 2021



Process vs Classic Church Theism: Cobb v Geisler, Part 3



Process vs Classic Church Theism:
Cobb v Geisler
Part 3

by R.E. Slater


Process Theology Debate:
Norman Geisler vs. John Cobb
Posted: Aug 21, 2021


De Veritate Apologetics and Philosophy

In this debate, Norman Geisler defends the position of 
classical theism against the process theology of John Cobb.

Comment: "As a former evangelic I totally understand the need for evangelicalism to claim victory in this debate. But now, as a process guy, I see all too plainly the obtuseness of Geisler's claimed victories and how he argued from his own self-referential and self-reinforcing theistic system putting words into Dr. Cobb's speech as well as process thought itself that aren't there. Pleases note: Part 2 is not on the youtube video nor could I locate it anywhere except here at the linked below." - R.E. Slater

Overview: Geisler defends Evangelicalism
"Process Theism versus Classical Theism" - Click here to hear Part 1 and Part 2 of a fascinating debate from the 1980s between Norman Geisler and John Cobb on Process Thought (a.k.a. Process Theism, Process Theology, Process Cosmology, Process Philosophy) and the strange, panentheistic God-world model of process philosopher A.N. Whitehead. John Warwick Montgomery was present at the debate and told Norm that he had just totally destroyed Process Thought.


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Earlier Posts




Part 4 - Process Theology v Classical Theology - unfinished



* * * * * * * *

The Story of the Bible 3

"Every good theology needs a great philosophy to rest upon
even as a great philosophic-theology must rest on love." 
- R.E. Slater

Self-referential and reinforcing theological systems usually aren't much help when seeking to study non-evangelical theological systems foreign to themselves. Usually, self-referential systems weigh their own selves down in a multitude of ways as is the case with classic theism as upheld by conservative evangelicalism. "Biblically" endorsed systems, having been established as acceptable church traditions "sanctified" by God and "approved" by the Spirit are usually difficult for theologians to peer outside their own veritable faith boxes to look at their beliefs from another vantage point. Or if they do, they must not admit to their findings lest excommunicated by the church, institution, organization, or fellowship in which they participate.

When listening to Norman Geisler I could hear my own biblical background rumbling up from under the past, warning of difference and change. Raised as a straight-laced theological mutt from an eclectic background of Baptist (GARB), Reformed (RCA), Fundamental (IFCA), and conservative evangelical traditions, my "defending" faith did its job to earnestly raise its alarms - diving deeply into the many past apologies and defenses of its separate-but-conjoining heritages to bring into mind past historical heresies, gnosticisms, and such-like-labelling, all shouting "Go no further ye who enter!"

And listening closely to Norman's words (as my tradition had taught me to listen when defending my faith) I heard him say that he had read and studied thousands of pages written by Whitehead, Whiteheadian scholars, and Process Theologians. Which, had he done so, would've sounded in his debate more like my posts here on this site than what I had heard as the outcome of his speech back forty years ago when I was yet young, nearly out of seminary, highly impressionable, very active in ministry, and yet to look at the world beyond my own faith structures, paradigms, and constructs.

Further, had I been sitting in the Claremont audience in support of Norman I would have been shouting Amen in my heart along with John Warwick Montgomery at every other word he spoke as he stood up for Jesus and the faith of true Christianity:

Philippians 1:27 ESV
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Galatians 5:1 ESV 
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Revelation 2:4 ESV 
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

As good bible literatists here's 93 other verses all related to standing firm for the faith once given....

But I wasn't in the audience that day and hadn't any idea what Process Philosophy and Theology is owing to my fundamentalist background, though I was widely read, hailed from a non-Christian, normally dysfunctional home, was basically illiterate in Christianity until I went to a state university, and later learned about my faith more formally through a bible college and seminary. In all these ways and more, I was simply starting out in life learning as I could learn from those around me through books, libraries, teachers, preachers, good friends, my elders, and the community in which I worked and laboured.

Amazingly, it took until my sixth decade, at 58 years or age, until I came to process thought on my own  by the aid and grace of the Spirit even as I had come to open and relational theology  on my own (both from my studies in biblical Arminianism, sic., Wesleyanism, and away from the systematic Calvinism I was raised in. (FYI: ORT is an outcome of PT, and not the other way around). With each, I had happened to stumble into them not realising the Christian traditions each had risen from... traditions I was totally oblivious too and apparently forbidden to research (well that I was, for if I had I most likely would have never found PP&T even now).

All I know is that after many years of searching I could not find the hermeneutic I needed to helpfully interpret the bible in a better way than what I was observing in "traditional" Christianity. My senior M.Div. capstone project in seminary would be the closer I would come in achieving this goal which someday I should publish. But as good as it was, when discovering process theology I knew immediately how to fit all my past and past studies and beliefs in-and-around process thought. It brought the best out of the Christian faith and must be shared.

Unfortunately, this has not been the direction of my past faith fellowships as they struggled with emerging spirituality movements arising out of person wildernesses of worshipping a non-relational, non-immanent, transcendent God of judgment and wrath (later known as the emergent church movement). Or, could my past fellowships see the non-Christian of color, race, culture, gender, sex, etc, beyond their bible verses of judgment and condemnation. What later became known as progressive Christianity centering in on social, economic, and legal just for all persons living under the US Constitution avowing freedom, liberty and justice.

As it was, both movements have by now merged together, each taking from the other, both the inward and the outward embrace of a God who cares and loves for us in intimate ways we cannot begin to understand in our limiting religious cultures of difference forbading change. 

Hence, my former Christian fellowships have wandered off into a number of harming paths led on by the well-meaning, but wrong, Norman Geisler's and John Warwick Montgomery's of their day. Paths of violence, kingdom dominionism where church law rules over any-and-all civic laws, White Christian nationalism and white supremacy each centering on socio-political theologies of exclusion and unlove.

The church's theology seems to always, inevitably turn sour, rotting under its own institutional weight of God's law v God's grace having once again bastardized the gospel in Jesus of God's sacrificial love of service in ministrations of mercy and forgiveness. We, the church of America, having placed blinders onto our eyes, ears and hearts, cannot see the destruction we create when not allowing the Spirit of God to flow into non-Christian communities in kind and loving ways. Ways which might proffer better results than the iron sword and buckled jack boot of American capitalism led by extremist Christian beliefs.

At the last, when witnessing how the past sixty some years of Christianity has evolved since its post-WW2 days into the post-Christian era we now live in it is no wonder we are where we are when refusing the Martin Luther Kings of our communities to sup and have fellowship with us. Or turning a blind eye to street urchins living away from their abusive homes. Or school children caught up into drugs and gangs because they cannot find identity anywhere else. On every front the church needs to dig in and reclaim neighbors, not fly from them because their property values are falling or they don't wish to live in blended communities. All this is how I would describe a White evangelical theology which is better left dead then to resurrect it again.

Folks, the hermeneutic is Love. God's Love where God's Love Wins. We don't need those push-back car stickers saying "Jesus Wins" as it shows the very lesson we hear in Norman's speech. He's not listening. He's already made up his mind that the other guy is wrong. To him, Jesus Wins, not Love Wins. By splitting theological hairs and raising the difference of exclusion evangelical Christianity has made it's own bed to lie in. The bed may be quite comfortable for those having made it. But for those of us, including the Lord God Himself, we would find sleep to fly from our heads if resting upon such unloving covers and bedsprings.

Finally, the foundation can no more be Platonism, neo-Platonism, Thomism, Englightened Thought, and such like. The integral theory to place all other studies and disciplines on top of seems to be process philosophy. All other philosophies, psychologies or theologies are but mere descriptions of process' parts but not its whole.

If you wish a personal God with open future seeking the full potential of creation as it is meant to be, than a process theology built upon process philosophy is the way to go. John Cobb had it right and people like myself and Norm should've been listening and figuring out how to make it work based upon past church creeds and traditions. We haven't and it's taken people like myself many decades later to be able to see it as our church era of the modern era has give away to constructive postmodernism and post-Christian secular thought seeking a better arrangement of society than it presently is showing.

Peace,

R.E. Slater
November 24, 2021


Additional Helps

John Cobb - Whitehead's Model and Multiple Spiritualities
Feb 13, 2015


Center for Process Studies

Check out (http://www.whitehead2015.com) -- Seizing an Alternative Conference

John B. Cobb, Jr. "Whitehead's Model and Multiple Spiritualities" Center for Process Studies Seminar at Claremont School of Theology, Spring 2002.



Sep 23, 2021

Monday, November 22, 2021

How a Process-Based Universe Works: Is It "Free to Create" or "Divinely Determined"?




How a Process-Based Universe Works:
Is It "Free to Create" or "Divinely Determined"?

by R.E. Slater

A Process-based Creation always strives for Life

A little while ago I had mentioned once again how a process-based creation always strives for life. Process thought makes this abundantly clear when speaking to the life-giving God as the First Order of Processes from whom all subtending cosmic processes proceed. A Creator-God who endowed His image into a static creation (creatio continua) - or, for those Platonists amongst us insisting on a creation which comes from nothing (creation ex nihilo) - a process-breathed event upon creation which propels life from life once it is so endowed.

Consequently when one comes to Darwinian evolution which states that life births life is simply retelling the Process Christian that evolution is following "the same rules of the game" as Whitehead proposed years later after Darwin in the early 20th century: Life from life to life again and again and again in innumerably marvelous ways.

We live in a Life-birthing Cosmos

Hence, I've provided yet another article "marveling" at how this "finely-tuned universe" can be so amazing.... That we live in a life-birthing cosmos which continually recreates itself to meet up to its divine image breathed into the very fabric of its process-becoming cosmic structure. Regardless the obstacle, regardless the difficulty, "life" by some quantum force, or energy, or biological response will find a way to regenerate itself.

Now to the mechanisms which are causing this physicists and biologists will someday learn more. But whenever I read of the universe "fine-tuning" itself I think of its internal cosmic structures which bring this into play. If the cosmos goes one direction, then another life-giving path will result. If it goes this way, then another way will result. And as amazing as it is to look at the fullness of the cosmos and wonder at its "finely-tuned" symmetry, it also tells to us the story that it is the way that it is because its is driven to be this way by the divine God's very Being having been placed into the depths of the cosmos' DNA.


Two things - God & Potential

GOD

One, we do not need classic theism's divine determinism dogmas of an all-controlling God who is giving moment-by-moment direction, whether large or small (a difference of degrees vs the action itself). The very fact that God placed His Image into creation (whether static or nothing) was enough to allow creation it's own freewill path.

This is the substance of process thought. That we live in a divine creation filled with the ability to birth life processes again and again which God neither needs to guide or direct but who, Himself, has given to the multiverse His very essence. Wherever life is becoming, God is there. Life's presence is where God's presence is found. In fact, it would be quite correct to say that God lies always in the leading edges of the future. Though God does not know the future, it is unnecessary for God to know it. God IS the future. Or better, God is the future's FUTURE!

Hence, creation is fully freewilled because it has been endowed by God's own freewill and thus moves and has it's being-ness in the very essence of God's Being-ness. And since God's Essence, or Being, is always in the PROCESS of Becoming, so will we see and experience the same in a processual-becoming of ourselves, the world, and the cosmos as a whole.

To say God inhabits His creation IMMANANTLY is to say that the Process God of all life-bestowing Essence "flows" with creation's energy flows striving towards a greater becoming than it held when originally set in motion by its God. And yet, this God is greater than the very substance and flow of His creation.

And so, a process theologian therefore teaches panentheism but not pantheism nor classic theism. A panentheistic world does not require a controlling, determining God dogma.  Nor does it need to identify God as the world but a God whose "flow" is captured within the world's very DNA. That this kind of God has released creation to be all that it can be against all the obstacles which it's own freewill can, and will, present to itself.


POTENTIAL

Secondly, I have always errored to the side of the weak anthropic principle over the strong. Over the years I have discussed WAP v SAP many times. Here are few references which may be followed up here and here and here and here. My apologies on this last link but somewhere in my earlier "indeterminancy" posts lies a more embedded discussion; if someone locates it please post in the comments below. Thx).

Two observations

Observation 1

Weak Anthropic Principle (WAP) - If the universe was not able to produce us, we wouldn't be here and we wouldn't know it existed.

Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP) - The universe exists the way it is for our benefit. Observers are the point of the universe. No us, no universe.

Summary - I prefer to think of them as the reasonable and the egotistical versions of the Anthropic principle. Basically the weak version is a common sense statement and the strong is baseless speculation. - Google Anon

Observation 2

...Those are the weak/strong versions of Tipler and company-- the more standard original distinction by Carter (I got most of this from Wiki) is simply that the Weak AP says that "given the fundamental parameters we observe, we have to live in a place and time that is conducive to life." Thus the WAP is only relevant to resolving "fine tuning" problems in regard to why we are here now, as opposed to somewhere else later. Given the cosmological principle that all places are more or less the same, the "fine tuning" that is resolved is purely temporal-- why we are here after 13.7 billion years and not 1 year or 1 decillion years.

The Strong AP goes on to look at the fundamental physical parameters themselves, and asserts that they also have to be fine tuned such that we (human being) could come along at some point in space and time. So it talks about why if you monkey even just a little with the dimensionless ratios of the universe, you seem to dramatically alter the resulting likelihood for generating life. [ <-- process theology does not take this line of thought; it states that regardless of how you tinker, the results will always produce cosmic "life" in other ways. So, not one way to life, but an infinite array or life-creating paths. - re slater]

The reason the SAP is more speculative is that it is not clear what you are comparing-- you can compare life as it might develop in different places and times, and might scientifically find evidence for such life, but life in other hypothetical universes would seem to be a nonscientific issue. So the SAP is not really considered testable science, it's more philosophy, whereas the WAP is on a more solid footing in regard to the general requirements of a scientific explanation.

Personally, I don't think the SAP gives us any understanding of why the parameters are what they are, beyond the obvious point that given the laws we have found, the parameters would have to be within certain ranges or we couldn't be here. That doesn't qualify as "understanding" in my book. The idea that this does not require "fine tuning" on the grounds that there can be many other universes with other parameters that are not fine tuned, but we had to show up here, seems a fruitless and untestable claim. For example, how would one attribute a "probability" to a "universe"? Should we allow the laws to be anything [more or less] in these hypothetical universes, or assert the laws have to be the same only with different parameters?


And with that let's go to today's scientific article and try to fit it's contents into our above Christian observations.

Peace,

R.E. Slater
November 22, 2021







* * * * * * *



Our Universe Is Finely Tuned For Life, And There's an Explanation For Why That Is So


MIKE MCRAE      22 NOVEMBER 2021

Physically speaking, our Universe seems uncannily perfect. It stands to reason that if it wasn't, life as we know it – and planets, atoms, everything else really – wouldn't exist.

Now, three physicists from the US, France, and Korea have put forward a new explanation for why life, the Universe, and everything in it has had such a prime opportunity to exist at all.

For some reason, the amount of energy – or more precisely, the mass it equates – and the Universe's accelerating expansion are so neatly balanced, there's been ample opportunity for a few interesting things to unfold over the past 13 billion years or so.

A few magnitudes either way, and the overwhelming gravity would have glued the expansion of spacetime together better than a mouthful of taffy... or been so weak, the rapidly expanding Universe would have left little of interest in its wake.   

Such an apparent near-perfect balance might be a consequence of something called fine-tuning, a process in physics where the features of a system necessarily match or cancel out with such precision. If it didn't, the system just wouldn't look the way it does.

For example, our Universe happens to be neutrally charged. For some reason,  there happens to be a near-identical number of protons to cancel out each electron's charge; add a few more electrons and it would be negative, forcing clumps of matter to push itself apart. 

On the other hand, it could be a consequence of what's referred to as 'naturalness'. The Moon's near-perfect occlusion of the Sun during a solar eclipse, for example, isn't ordained by hard laws of astronomy. The size of the Moon, the Sun, and our perspective of both don't need any further explanations to make sense.

Physicists generally don't like appealing to vague coincidences when they observe the Universe. If two features of a system seem incredibly well matched, there's a strong desire to dig through the rulebook for a deeper explanation.

For electrons and protons, the solution could come with explanations of why there's an imbalance of matter over antimatter.

In the case of the Universe's incredible reflection of energy and expansion, there's no shortage of clever and creative ideas to chew on. Most tend to fall into two categories, however.

One centers on something called the anthropic principle, which says only a universe capable of generating thinking brains like ours can ask philosophical questions such as 'why am I here?'

This might imply there are other universes, though. Maybe an infinite number, most either collapsing the moment they're born or exploding in puffs of endless boredom. Ours just happens to be one of the good ones! Although fun to think about, without any way of establishing the existence of multiverses it isn't a proposition that could bear scientific fruit.

As for the second category, there is the possibility that we're missing some crucial piece of the physics puzzle, such as new fields or symmetries that could fail under specific conditions.

The fact that the resting mass of the Higgs boson – the particle representing a field that gives many fundamental particles their mass – turned out to be unexpectedly light might suggest there's a gap in our understanding of forces and particles.

It itself is the result of another fine-tuning conundrum, being the result of strangely-exact cancellations of other physics. For example, there seems to be some sort of mysterious fine-tuning between the mass of a Higgs boson and the cosmological constant – the density of energy in the vacuum of space.

This latest suggestion mashes together the idea of unknown physics behind the Higgs boson's shockingly itty-bitty mass with a kind of quantum multiverse effect, one that this time could feasibly be tested.

Their model puts the Higgs particle at the center of the fine-tuning explanation. By coupling the boson with other particles in such a way that its low mass would effectively 'trigger' events in physics we observe, it provides a link between forces and mass.

From there, the authors show how weakly interacting variables in a field might affect different kinds of empty space, specifically patches of nothingness with varying degrees of expansion. This potentially demonstrates the link between Higgs bosons and the cosmological constant.

It's a multiverse in a way, given the triggers occurring in different patches of infinite expanding space could plausibly give rise to a seemingly well balanced Universe like ours.

Their math suggests these triggers would be limited to a few possibilities, and even has room for explanations of dark matter. Better still, it also predicts the existence of multiple Higgs particles of varying masses, all smaller than the one we've already observed. That gives the hypothesis something that can be tested, at least.

Until then, it'll remain one of many neat ideas that could one day explain the eerily well-matched tug-of-war that has permitted a complex cosmos to unfold. A place we've come to love as our Universe.

This research was published in Physical Review D.


Sunday, November 21, 2021

C.S. Lewis - The Reluctant Convert


English Professor and Author, Clive Staples Lewis


C.S. Lewis - The Reluctant Convert

by R.E. Slater


Recently I viewed "The Most Reluctant Convert" in the theaters on November 20, 2021, after its release date on November 3. I cannot say I am a Clive Staples Lewis fan although I did my obligatory readings of several of his authored writings in my collegiate days. Where nuance of the English tongue is wanted I much prefer Lewis' Inkling friend J.R.R. Tolkien. In fact, I have most of Tolkien's books and have read many of them.

Lewis, on the other hand, was more of an oddity to me. His friend, Sheldon Vanauken, who wrote "A Severe Mercy," of his wife's death was probably my first glimpse of Lewis. After that, Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters, A Grief Observed, and much later, Shadowlands, were my next and last readings of Lewis, but never Surprised by Joy, which tells of the famous author's reluctant journey into Christianity.

To be frank - and this can be chalked up to my own philosophical and theological outlooks - any of Lewis' children's tales I have disliked intensely as silly pandering to Christianity's eschatological envisioning of the future which I find a most unhelpful reading of the Old and New Testament Scriptures in mythological portrayal by Lewis. Even so, his adult books have been quite inspirational to the many who read them, and in my young adulthood, I had liked them too. However, for greater depth of reading I would recommend The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. I believe the classic theistic reader will find Tozer's thoughts to be more deeply inspiring for sheer weight of insight. (Btw, when Google Blogger switched over to its new publisher system all my earlier year's of writings became smaller in font size. To rectify, simply zoom the display +25% and they will be more easily read).

When reading Lewis, everything from his pen sounds deeply philosophical, interlaced with profound somber feelings of introspection and critique of the world as he understood it. Here, in his conversion story, he begins the atheist's journey with many valid arguments against Christianity. Fortunately for him he had Christian friends which put the emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus. Something he couldn't argue well against though well he tried.

And so, I was pleasantly surprised how Lewis' story moved from the philosophical argument to the Christological argument and lastly to his own personal story of a childhood which needed healing in order for his faith to get right and finally settle into a course which much suited his need for faith in turbulent times. A faith that could lay out his being and brought to him a peace he couldn't find in anything else. And most notably a faith which became intensely personal based upon a deeply personal relationship with Jesus.

Below please find a trailer of the Lewis' life (remember it'll be deeply philosophical then Christological... it was how Lewis was... he wasn't an easy conversationalist unless he was hanging around children). Then an interview with the main actor and narrator of the film, John West. And finally... to my surprise again!... a 90 minute piece reciting most of Lewis' book, Surprised by Joy! which I'm listening to as the very dense film dearly requires a second hearing.

Ps. As a film purist, you loose nothing by skipping the film's first 10-15 minutes. It tends to ruin the movie. Afterwards feel free to go back and watch it. You'll see then why I suggest skipping ahead.

Enjoy,

R.E. Slater
November 21, 2021



THE MOST RELUCTANT CONVERT:
THE UNTOLD STORY OF C.S. LEWIS | OFFICIAL TRAILER
Sep 8, 2021




Actor Max McLean Discusses His New C.S. Lewis Film
 "The Most Reluctant Convert" with John West
Oct 19, 2021

Actor Max McLean discusses his new film about the life of C. S. Lewis, "The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis," with Discovery Institute Vice President John West, editor of the book "The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society."  "The Most Reluctant Convert"  premieres in theaters in the United States and Canada for one-night only on Nov. 3. For more information, visit https://www.cslewismovie.com.  Get a discussion guide for the film at https://www.cslewismovie.com/resources/.

 


SURPRISED BY JOY ➤ Affirmations of the I AM:
Confidence, Positive Energy, Abundance, Peace & Joy
Jan 22, 2020




The Life of C.S. Lewis

Birthed in Belfast Ireland on Nov. 29, 1898, Clive Staples Lewis (nicknamed Jack) grew up with a profound love for reading novels. A few of his favorites were the Beatrix Potter tales. He had a fascination for writing and displaying his animal tales.

Losing his mother from a young age had a profound effect on Lewis’s life. Without her knowledge and godly influence, he finally walked away from his religion, getting an atheist education under agnostic-and-atheistic schooling later as a teenager.

Serving in World War I, Lewis faced pain and hardship after being injured and continued his search for meaning in existence through his early years of young adulthood. C.S. Lewis eventually came back to God at age 32, heavily affected by the inspirational writings of George McDonald along with other coworkers and friends, including J. R. R. Tolkien and G. K Chesterton.

Since Lewis’s beliefs grew stronger through the years, his writings and operations profoundly touched countless lives during World War II and the years which followed. It was then that a few of his best works were printed. In his later years, C.S. Lewis suddenly met the love of his life, American author, Joy Davidman. Both wed; however, only four years later, he lost his beloved wife to early death. She was just 45. Their romance was told via the award-winning film Shadowlands.



C.S. Lewis - A Bite-Sized Overview
Aug 15, 2019




#Biography
C.S. Lewis: The Friendship That Changed His Life
May 16, 2019


Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), was an Oxford graduate and a British Army Lieutenant for the Somerset Light Infantry. He lead a literary club called, "The Inklings" with one of his closest friends, J.R.R. Tolkien.  


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