Ep 24: Greg Boyd & The Open-Ended God
Greg Boyd on how God enters the cosmic dance through Science, Scripture, and Us. We explore faith & doubt, quantum physics & relativity, Christ-shaped politics, and the hard parts of the Bible!
- Greg Boyd is an internationally recognized theologian, preacher, teacher, apologist and author. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Charlie Rose Show, CNN, NPR, BBC, and is the co-founder & senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Greg has authored 20 books, including his best-selling "Letters From a Skeptic" and "The Myth of a Christian Nation".
- Greg Boyd's graphic book on science: The Cosmic Dance: What Science Can Teach Us about the Nature of Time, Life, God & Humpty Dumpty
- "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein
- Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman talks about how breaking things down simply is the only real way to understand them
- The nature of things seems to be spontaneity and openness. We're dance partners with God.
- Quantum physics, Complexity theory, Chaos theory, and Relativity.
- Newtonian physics seemed deterministic, modern physics seems indeterminist. Quantum physics seems participatory.
- How Relativity theory might support determinism, and Greg Boyd's alternate explanation.
- The Open View of the future & Open Theism (see also our previous interview with Thomas Jay Oord)
- Our lives make a difference
- Scriptures suggest that God sees the future as a set of possibilities
- The greatest imaginable God is a God who creates genuine possibilities
- God knows things that "might or might not" happen
- An omniscient God doesn't need to determine the future
- Greg Boyd's book on the subject: God of the Possible
- Greg Boyd's book Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty
- "Certainty-Seeking Faith is a Form of Idolatry"
- Biblical faith is about covenant, not certainty
- If faith is about intellectual assent, it actively discriminates against people who are intellectual
- Real faith is faith "in the face of uncertainty"
- Micah's essay on scriptural faith & the movies: The Faith of the Martian
- How to read the hard parts of the Bible
- Greg Boyd responds to issues Derek Flood raised in our previous interview
- Reading the Bible for the surprise ending: The Sixth Sense and The Book of Eli and how they're like the Bible
- The Bible has to be read backwards: It all points to Christ
- Other approaches to this problem: Eric Seibert, Derek Flood suggest the bad things simply didn't happen
- Even if it didn't happen, Christ says that the narrative points to him. Which forces us to wrestle with the text.
- God is a missionary, and gets his hands dirty
- The crucified Christ suggests a God who allows himself to be revealed through sin.
- How God improvises with his people: 1 Samuel 8 on how God can ordain a king, even though he doesn't want them to have a king.
- How God takes on the appearance of an ancient near-eastern deity in response to people's demands and expectations.
- Politics & The Religious Right
- Some brief thoughts about Christians in politics
- The error of focusing on one cause, and the error of trusting in one regime to change things
- Being a person of faith is not going to make you smarter politically, but it may very well make you dumber
- Is the kingdom of God about polarization?
- Jesus' apostles were from all over the political spectrum
- See some alternate Christian approaches to politics: The And Campaign and Public Faith
- Further reading:
- Rachel Held Evans' interview with Greg Boyd
- An atheist view of Greg Boyd
- Explanation of the Cosmic Dance: "I would describe The Cosmic Dance as a cross between a humorous graphic novel (the writing is framed as a playful discussion among photo-shopped versions of my friends and other characters), on the one hand, and an introductory book on contemporary science and the open view of the future (or “Open Theism”), on the other. In this book I try to explain, at a “Dick and Jane” level, Quantum Physics, Chaos and Complexity Theory, Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics, and Relativity Theory. I then argue that, in their own distinctive way, each of these theories encourage us to understand life, creation and even God as a sort of open-ended, creative, spontaneity-filled, adventurous dance."
- Greg Boyd on Twitter and ReKnew.org
Ep 24: Greg Boyd & The Open-Ended God