Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What is holistic theology?

The word holistic has to do with the integrity of the whole and its constituent parts. And the word theology has to do with the study of God. Holistic Theology then, is the study of God in whole. It is not, therefore, the study of any one religion, nor is it the study of any one perspective of the Divine. Rather it is the study of every constituent part of the whole of God, as well as the whole of God itself.

How do we define the whole of God? Well, just like anything else, we often define it by the constituent parts of the whole. So, if I want to define personality, I might have to do so by defining the various components of the personality first and then coming to an integrated summation of those parts. We can describe at least some constituent parts of God that way. God is love. God is omnipotent. God is omniscient. God is all wise. But then we have to consider the refinements of these meanings. What does it mean, for example, to be omnipotent? Does it mean that humanity has no choice in matters of its own contending? Does it mean that all power, including the power of initiative, belongs to God? If that is true, then how do we explain the irrational urgings of the human mind? Or the seemingly “freak accidents” of nature? And how do we explain the behavior of one constituent part of God that appears to be incongruent with another?

Read more of this article on holistic theology by Andrea Mathews.

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