A Creative God of Information vs. A Predictable God of Order
It's a little frustrating, because it's a huge topic, and I barely have enough time to scratch the surface this morning. Rather, I can only provide some general outlines and directions, but I hope to begin fleshing things out on Monday (not sure about tomorrow). Anyway, don't jump to any conclusions just yet. It will all make sense in the end.
First of all, do we have any reason to believe that the structure of the cosmos reveals anything about God? I don't see why not; there's always something of the creator in the creation.
That word: creator. If God is a creator, then that alone is full of implications. For as Gilder writes, "creativity always comes as a surprise to us.... It is a high-entropy event. Innovations are not an expression of equilibrium and order, like crystals or snowflakes," but rather, "disruptions of it."
The question is, does creativity come as a surprise to God? Well, only if he is a creator. If he is not surprised by his creation -- and by the creativity of his creatures -- then he is something other than a creator, perhaps an "orderer," or mathematician, or playwright, or puppet master.
A God of this sort doesn't play dice with the cosmos, or with anything else, for that matter. In fact, he can't gamble at all, because he knows the outcome ahead of time. Sounds a little boring to me.
Furthermore, if God knows the outcome ahead of time, this erodes our free will, revealing it to be an illusion of temporality. Many Christians are fine with this, but I personally have issues with this type of omniscience.
Indeed, I think one of the most shocking implications of Christianity is the idea that the Creator submits himself to his own creation; that God genuinely offers himself to history, with no foreknowledge of what is going to happen -- because he is free, as are the human actors involved.
Isn't the whole pathology of the left encrapsulated in the pretext of foreknowledge of an open and undetermined future? Again, they try to impose order at the expense of information. But since the cosmos is in fact informational, this means that leftism fails because it doesn't comport with the nature of reality. As Gilder writes,
"No rational determinist scheme can encompass entrepreneurial entropy," because it "begins beyond the boundaries of settled rationality. As a form of new discovery, it passes Gödel's threshold, the point where all logical systems, including mathematics, exhaust their completeness. Entrepreneurship transcends certainty and enters the always-evanescent realm of creation."
So God is some kind of businessman and not just an isnessman? Not just O, but CEO?
Before you laugh -- or wince -- consider the fact that the essence of the trinitarian God involves transactional giving. Let's not idealize the individual businessman, but let's just consider why the free market works. It works because of "an imaginative sense of the needs of others," which, in aggregate, constitutes "a pattern of giving that dwarfs in extent and essential generosity any socialist scheme of redistribution."
As mentioned yesterday, I've been reading a book on process theology (not raccoomended to the casual or maybe even formal reader). I've always had problems with process theology; or perhaps it's just with the most prominent process theologians, who tend to use it to undermine orthodoxy and to promote radical environmentalism, hysterical feminism, Marxist liberation theology, and other pneumopathologies. These vertical activists blatantly use theology to legitimize their political and economic preferences.
But I think a genuine understanding of process theology goes in the opposite direction, for reasons alluded to above: because the cosmos is more like an informational organism than it is an ordered machine. This is why the cosmos is full of surprising developments that cannot be deduced from, much less predicted by, prior states; or as Gilder writes,
"[C]hemistry cannot be reduced to physics -- the density of information is much higher," just as "biology cannot be reduced to chemistry, or human creativity to biology." To simply shout evolution did it! is to beg the question entirely. Such simplistic notions "stop thinking rather than stimulate it."
So let's start thinking about this surprising cosmos of ours. Let's do like Hartshorne, for whom metaphysics was a "solemn vocation," involving "as a philosopher, the pursuit of the nature of reality, and as a theologian, the search for a rational foundation for religion" (McMurrin).