Theistic Science
Friday, April 12, 2013
New Church Perspective in Susan Sup, Theistic Science, science, science and religion

Contrary to current opinion, Susan proposes that science can be founded on religious ideas without any internal conflict. She feels that the rigor of its processes would not be weakened by its religious origin, and that this approach alone presents an alternative to materialism. -Editor

Whatever trials, tribulations, sadness and frustrations you have over your journey with Alzheimer's, please know that the essential you will always be there - to you and your loved ones. Sometimes you may have to send a search party in to find you though :)

That is an anonymous commenter on David Hilfiker's blog about his life with early stage dementia. What will happen to the sense of self as the disease progresses? Our awareness that our "I" does not change over our lifetime the way our physical body does perplexes much of current scientific thinking because of its penchant for materialist explanations.

There is one modern scientific theory that is not perplexed as to why our identity does not change. It is scientific theism, which postulates that God Is Real and then develops principles from that foundation. Instead of seeing theology as something not useful to science, it actually begins with theology. The science that follows is real science, held to the same standards of making predictions that could perhaps be refuted. It takes principles that it believes are true and then develops predictions from them which lead to experiments that test those predictions. It prizes rational consistency just as materialist science does.

Theistic science postulates that God is present and active in our world at every moment. He is Love. Since He is unselfish, He cannot love only Himself. And so He created us. He wants us to experience delight. That is more likely if things can appear to us as if we had made them happen. He created the world with three distinct realms: the spiritual realm of love and desire, the mental realm of wisdom and thoughts, and the physical realm of what we see. From the two upper realms there are generative cascades, each acting successively to produce the lower levels. Love cascades down to thought which cascades down to physical reality. The receiving level selects. What is selected is limited by what has already come into being through its earlier choices. There is freedom in the selection and generosity in the generation.

The reason we keep our "I" basically intact is that it is composed of our real loves from the first realm. Those loves are contained on a level that remains constant throughout our life (and hence into the next life).

Dr. Ian J. Thompson, who is a physicist with an interest in philosophy and psychology, is one of the main proponents of theistic science. He grew up with very little religious instruction. He was a curious college student when he heard of Swedenborg. Fortunately the books were available from places where adherents kept them in publication. Thompson got a money order from his post office, sent it off to England, and received Heaven and Hell and Divine Love and Wisdom through international mail. “On reading Swedenborg, I found someone who appeared to speak religious truth in an unequivocal fashion, and moreover truth that appeared to be consistent with science.” At first Thompson read Swedenborg primarily to find support for his own developing theories about the mind. At some point, he gave that up and began simply reading Swedenborg to absorb it as the truth and let it lead where it would. Now he is a theoretical physicist who uses his religion in formulating his scientific views. He puts that Divine Love and Wisdom into real-world practice.

You can catch a glimpse of one of Dr. Thompson's talks on the subject at:

And here is a clip from the discussion session of that set of talks:

You can also sign up for his online class which begins on April 22nd at:

We believers can do our part to help. We can absorb the expectation that science will give God a chance. We can support the thesis that God Is Real, not just in religion, but also in rational thought. When we common people get onboard with this, science will lose its tendency toward materialism.

Susan Sup

Susan is a grandmother who lives in the Midwest. She quilts and loves religious ideas.
Article originally appeared on New Church Perspective (
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