Sunday 25 April 2021

Entropy versus creation here on earth

If entropy is a real thing on this earth; then it is not caused by God but represents the continued reality of primordial chaos. 

This means that not everything that happens is caused by, nor intended by, God. 

Yet this world is a created world, God is continually-create-ing this world. 

I see this world as continually being-created by God; as it is continually being-dismantled by the tendency to revert to primal (meaningless, purposeless) chaos. 

I imagine this to be a matter of God's creative 'energies' always-shaping that which is always-dissipating.

The consequence is that all of this mortal life has a divine meaning and purpose despite that not-everything is caused or intended by God. 

The activities of evil Beings are included in this basic schema. Evil Beings (e.g. demons, sinning humans) are continually doing evil things for evil reasons; and these are continually (in a sense instantly) being-shaped by God in accordance with divine destiny. 

No matter how much evil is at work and being-done; God is always (instantly!) shaping it to situations from-which individual Men may obtain Good: that is, to situations from-which Men may learn that which they most need to learn (would benefit from-learning) for their resurrected life in heaven. 

Therefore, although entropy rules this material, mortally-incarnated world, in the sense that entropy is never absent; divine creation dominates entropy. 

This explains how our life is always (potentially) meaningful and purposive; and why 'there are no accidents' - no luck, chance or randomness.   

Note: It seems to be a necessary consequence of the Christian understanding that Life (this mortal life) does Not have meaning or purpose for those who reject the post-mortal future of resurrected life in Heaven. This world, this Life, was-designed and is continually being-shaped to advance the learning of those who follow Jesus. 

The created world will also be shaped to create situations in which those who do Not follow Jesus can come (repeatedly) to understand what Jesus offers, and the clarity of mind and heart to decide whether or not they want it for themselves. 

But those who have rejected what Jesus offers are doomed to a life without meaning or purpose; because they have rejected the purpose of creation and the purpose of this earth. They have instead decided to inhabit a entropy; a world of inevitable degeneration, disease and death with nothing to follow but annihilation. 

It is always a positive choice to follow Jesus; and every Being, every Man, is free to reject that choice. But - in a created world, shaped by God for God's purposes - that rejection carries the consequence that ultimately Life has nothing lasting to offer but death. 


Bruce B. said...

Bruce, I have always imagined that after the fall God withdrew his immediate presence due to the presence of sin. Then God's will as experienced by his creation became primarily permissive (e.g. basic maintaining/,upholding of physical creation) excepting miracles, the incarnation ,etc. So I can imagine how this would cause entropy as the general tendency resulting in a physical world that is doomed in the end.

Bruce Charlton said...

@BB - I haven't heard that before, but it doesn't make much sense to me, I'm afraid!

A said...

Thank you for emphasizing this understanding of creation in your recent posts. I seem to forget it often out of habit, but it brings a great sense of beauty to mind when remember. It gives me great joy in just seeing life everywhere (human, animal, plant) and working towards creation despite the overwhelming evil today.

A said...

I saw abortion as obvious evil, but put more in context of “the plan” I can see how it is Satan’s attempt to limit God’s plan by not giving many souls a chance to experience life and grow, while also damning the souls of those involved.

A said...

CS Lewis showed the final stage of the current “Climate Change” goal was the destruction of plant life itself. Gates talks openly of dimming the sun...

So we need to limit humans to “save the planet”, and we need to limit animals (because carbon) to “save the planet” and we need to reduce the sun... no carbon, no sun, no plants.

David Smith said...

...and the primordial chaos a) predates God; or b) was created by ___; or c) ?.

Bruce Charlton said...

@DS - c) Coeternal with...

Bruce B. said...


I guess I mean something like withdrew his immediate presence after the Fall. Something to the effect that pure righteousness/holiness/love/etc. cannot be in the presence of sin which is described as uncleanness to convey to man in a visceral (but symbolic) way our lack of love. So, chaos and entropy and death weren’t primordial but rather the result of sin. The resulting lack of God’s immediate presence and constant application of his positive will to every aspect of physical creation meant that God’s will was largely (predominantly?) permissive – God’s upholding of the necessary conditions of his creation but not preventing entropy in his creation.

I don’t know by the way if this is the classical view I’m describing or some heretical view - just what a simple-minded man can work out.

Your view is certainly interesting and not (despite my classical Christian biases) self-evidently wrong to me. I can find no holes in it – I can merely relate my (admitted biased) instinctive reaction. It seems difficult for me to imagine pure love as coexisting primordially with chaos.

Also, to make sure I understand. You mean actual physical creation and its condition of chaos is primordial and coeternal? Or do you mean primordial chaos is something parallel with what classical Christians understand as the Logos -something non-physical?

As usual, everything you write is fascinating and thought provoking and I enjoy learning from you.

David Smith said...

OK - then who/what created God and primordial chaos?

Or should "has always been" work for me? Somehow, it just doesn't.

When I try to make that fit, I can't help wondering what else is coeternal with God and primordial chaos, or how we could be certain that there is nothing else of that category of existence.

Somewhere between "Saving the Appearances" and Rovelli's "The Order of Time" I get tripped-up trying to think that precisely (or take that seriously my thinking) about "eternity"...or God as God outside time. My limitations, I'm sure.

Bruce Charlton said...

@BB and DS - I used to blog a great deal on these matters in about 2013-ish, when I was sorting them out for myself - some are collected in my blog Speculations of a Theoretical Mormon.

With creation we either accept an infinite regress or else have to begin with some thing/s that Just Is/ Just Are. I am a pluralist, so I think that there were Many 'things' that Just Were. Tow of these were our Heavenly Parents and it was their love which made creation happen (which is why love is the primary fact for Christians: it was/is love that makes creation).

In fact, I don't feel a compelling need to describe the specifics and sequence of what happened, partly because much of this is constructed by me from a few principal intuitions. But the above are a few...

Bruce B. said...

I acknowledge that my belief is no less dogmatic than yours – hopefully that and my respect for your beliefs and work came through.

I am curious if physical creation is considered primordial or if the eternal-primordial-chaos is immaterial. I have seen btw plausible criticisms of big-bang so this isn’t necessarily about the current status of our scientific understanding. And I can be a science skeptic I admit.

Bruce B. said...

That is by the way, a very beautiful view you hold and certainly places the love in marriage at the very nature of all creation – reinforcing the Lord’s high esteem for marriage and the primacy of love where ideal love in marriage is archetypal. It is a very appealing view no doubt. A lot of things in Mormonism are very appealing.

Bruce Charlton said...

@BB - I am pleased you share my evaluation that Mormonism is a very beautiful theology - that was exactly my impression when I discovered it. So I wanted it to be true. Then I set about clarifying for myself that it was true intuitively - and I found that it was coherent and answered what were my key theological questions.

I should clarify that the specific equation of the love of Heavenly parents becoming the 'power' of creation was my own (i.e. I didn't get it from anyone else, although of course it may well be found somewhere else!), and is a relatively more recent insight of the past two or three years.

Very unfortunately, although this was relatively delayed, the CJCLDS have embarked on the same trajectory of leftism-convergence as the other major Christian (and indeed other religious) denominations - for instance, being *very* keen on birdemic-healthism and antiracism.

Still, all Christians ought to be developing a faith rooted in their own relationship with God and Jesus Christ; and not dependent on *any* church - yet for particular people in particular situations, church may be helpful. I am currently partaking of Holy Communion at an Anglo-Catholic church every few weeks (where the priests are real Christians - one of them being my brother!), despite that the Church of England is clearly an evil organization as-a-whole.