An Ecological Model of the Trinity
Within The New Cosmology
Advancement of modern technology and scientific discovery, as well as the sociological developments of the past century, has changed the way humanity relates to the world. Human culture, particularly American culture, has developed a predominant world-view of earth’s resources and human relationships as things to be used and manipulated for personal gain. Scientists are warning with increasing urgency that the survival of the planet is at risk. Global warming caused by depletion of the ozone layer is negatively affecting climate change and the polar ice caps are melting at previously unimagined rates. Pollution, deforestation, manipulation and indiscriminate consumption of the planet’s natural resources have also contributed to an ecological crisis. Much of the environmental destruction can be directly connected to exploitation of people and cultures by business and industry for purposes of economic gain. Science alone cannot persuade the human community to make the swift and pervasive changes needed to begin repairing damage done to the earth. Human consciousness must begin to understand the interrelatedness of people and ecological systems that sustain life on the planet. The injury done in the name of scientific and economic progress can begin to be mitigated by a response from communities of faith. Contemporary ecological theology establishing creation as a revelation of the divine is a starting point for promoting the need for reconstruction of environmental and cultural systems. Humanity needs more than ever to discover the direct relationship of God’s intimate relationship with the universe as well as God’s being in intimate relationship with the individuals. Collaboration of current theological and scientific philosophies can help reveal a God “so intimately present in the world that the world can be regarded as an incarnate expression of the Trinity, as creative, as expansive, as conscious, as self realizing and self-sharing.” An ecological theology based on a relational model of the Trinity creates a paradigm allowing the contemporary Christian a way of relating and responding ethically to the world and to each other. Scientific theories of the universe
Basic scientific descriptions of prominent contemporary theories of the origin and composition of the universe are helpful in beginning to construct an ecological theology. A foundational description of differentiated life forms existing within larger organic systems illustrates aspects of a trinitarian model of mutual relations found in the physical universe. Current theories of the scientific origination of the universe rely heavily upon what has been called “the Big Bang theory.” This theory, credited to Edward Hubble posits that approximately fifteen million years ago, a tremendous explosion occurred from which all matter and energy originated. As a result of this explosion the universe, galaxies, stars and planets were created and the universe continues to develop and expand. The earth is the result the cooling process of a minute amount of matter from this explosion over the millennia enabling a process of evolution in which the rich diversity of plants and animals emerged and grew. Unanswered questions in regard to the Big Bang remain as development of theories in quantam physics progresses. Science continues to discover and revise its hypotheses and theories about the origin and organization of the universe. However, from the Big Bang theory, two basic conceptualizations of matter appear. The first idea is that all created matter is derived from the same source and therefore interrelated. The second is that from the same particles and energy, a multitude of specific and differentiated life forms occur. “Both sameness and difference play major roles. Like the One and the Many, they will be with us through the whole development. Protons are all alike, but...
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