I profoundly agree with these statements.
On the other hand, Robert Godwin drives me a little bit nutz with his "immanent God." I'm not sure I understand his meaning. But maybe the problem boils down to semantics in the end. I can't tell for sure....
Speaking as a Christian, I have no problem with "immanent God" understood as the divine Logos operating in the world of its Creation in the Beginning from Alpha to Omega, from "first to last," affecting everything "in between." Or to put it into Aristotelian terms, from first to final cause, implicating immanent cause "in-between."
In short, I believe in evolution at all scales of the cosmos. I can even regard a "biological function" as an evolution from a first to final cause.
But it seems to me the immanence of God as understood by, say, Advaita-Vedanta philosophy, is "a horse of [quite] a different color." This "god" ultimately, Brahman is so "immanent" in an eternal, that is, uncreated universe that he is effectively indistinguishable from it. He or It is indivisible from and coextensive with the material flux of the world. Given this condition, it is difficult for me a Christian to see any difference between the divine and the mundane realm of finite existence in which human beings live. How can a god coextensive with, and seemingly inseparable from, such a concept of Cosmos be said to be, in any way shape or form. the ordering principle of it?
Well, this is the problem I have. I'm still working it. :^) I welcome comment/correction from the Advaita-Vedanta side....
Thanks so much for writing, dear Matchett-PI! Just some thoughts, dear Matchett-PI!
See if this helps:
"...Continuing from yesterday's post, in which we posed the question: is it possible to use Whitehead's process philosophy to illuminate traditional theology, but without doing violence to the latter and descending into an intellectually feeble and metaphysically incoherent moonbattery? [ Panentheism (God is in all) /// Pantheism (God is all).]
Stuff HappensBy George Murphy, on January 3rd, 2011
"...In other words, the absolute, insofar as it deploys itself in time and space (which it does "inevitably"), radiates from a cosmic center to the periphery, somewhat like a series of concentric circles with God at the center. God's energies are like radii emanating from the center outward, while the different concentric circles are the various levels of being, or the cosmic hierarchy.
"Therefore, although everything is ultimately God, not everything is equally God. The idea that everything is equally God leads to pantheism, which is an indiscriminate flatland philosophy no more sophisticated than bonehead atheism. It is logically equivalent to saying everything is not God. Or one might simply say "everything," and therefore "nothing" -- it doesn't matter, or mind, for that matter. In any event, nothing is that simple, let alone everything, let further alone the Divine Nothing-Everything at the center of it all.
"Now ultimately, everything "is God" in some sense, but God is not the sum total of everything. Things vary in their proximity to God. Furthermore, there is movement toward God. We call this "evolution," but we should probably come up with a different term -- perhaps Adam & Evolution -- so as to not confuse it with mere natural selection, which reduces the transcosmic fact of evolution to a random and mechanical process. ..." Gagdad-HERE
"The real Cosmos is not and cannot be synonymous with what materialists call "the universe." ....
"In turn, the cosmos cannot be synonymous with the Creator (pantheism), but is, however, incomprehensible in his absence. The world is none other than God, but God is not the world....."
"..Secularism begins and therefore ends with the material world. Being that the material world is a shifting and transitory world, one can only derive a shifting and transitory metaphysic from its study. This is by no means to devalue science, only to not confuse it with metaphysics.
"Furthermore, with this inversion, one will necessarily confuse the Principle with its manifestation. One will have to adhere, for example, to a bizarre metaphysic that permits a wholly accidental and contingent mind to know absolutely.
"Here is what we have heard from the wise. In reality, the cosmos may be thought of as a kind of message from God to Himself by Himself, so long as one doesn't take the analogy too far.
"But this should by no means be taken as an excuse for pantheism or narcissism, since the message is nonetheless real. For while God is both Alpha and Omega, sender and recipient, the message is deployed in time, and time is a mode of Eternity. We have received -- or assimilated -- the good news of the message when we have achieved our end. ..."