We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Evolution and Providence

The windmills of Lewis County, NY
Evolution does not fall within God's providence.  Providence, rather, falls within the movement of galactic evolution in the universe and biological evolution on Earth.  That is, we experience God's care for us in the context of evolution, which is why so many of us can connect, for example, so deeply with a dog or a cat or another member of another species to the point that their presence in our lives improves our mental and even physical health.  That is why one of the places where most of us are most apt to feel the presence of God's Spirit is not in worship on Sunday but on the trail on a Saturday—or in the presence of a magnificent sunset or sunrise, or in the quick, cool touch of a dancing breeze. Galactic and biological evolution are the ways God creates, and they are the ways God creates us.  They do not fall within God's providence.  They are, instead, the context through which God channels divine care and compassion.