The theology you’ll find on this website is an alternative systematic theology from that found in the major religious traditions. Now, it’s a legitimate question as to why an alternative might be needed? To understand my motive for pursuing this, I’ll touch a bit on my personal story.
I was raised Christian and maintained belief in that tradition for many years. I received a degree in engineering and went to work in that field for several years. However, since I had always been interested in religion and the deep questions of life, I wondered if I might be suited to be a pastor and find that more fulfilling than engineering. Accordingly, my wife and I left Texas and moved to Iowa so I could study theology at a Lutheran seminary. I did that for two years. However, after two years of intensive immersion in the best theological thinking of the time, I discovered that my beliefs had changed so much that I had little in common with the beliefs found in the grassroots churches. That was going to be a big problem if I became a pastor. So, I left seminary and went back into engineering for the rest of my career. Still, my belief in God remained but over a few years, at one point, I realized that I no longer found Christian theology that compelling. So I decided to cast my metaphysical net more broadly to see if I could find something to accept. So, I read a lot about other theologies and metaphysical systems both in the West and the East. Eventually, all the systems I studied had some serious fundamental problems I couldn’t get past. It wasn’t that they didn’t have great insights, but taken systematically the problems I found were deal breakers for me. I talk about this in more detail throughout the site, and how I approach systematic theology including addressing these problems here. So, at one point I decided to see if I could develop a theology that I could feel comfortable believing in. The Divine Life Communion theology represents the culmination of that journey.
So, with that background, I’d like to offer what DLC theology is about in a nutshell. Since my dissatisfaction with existing religious systems stemmed from problems I perceived within them, that was a primary focus of the development. Was there a way to think about God and God’s relationship to creation that offered more satisfactory “solutions” to the significant problems and questions about life that theology and religious philosophy try to address? But it was more than just trying to find a metaphysical system that “answered” better, but one that also honored the religious intuitions I and others had about the depth of life. Here again, much more is said on this elsewhere on the site.
To find better answers, for me being an engineer, not just any ole hodgepodge of ideas strung together haphazardly would do. It had to be systematic with everything fitting together well including defining the issues, determining a criterion, and making the systems worked.
So, what were the problems I was seeking to answer better? These are the primary problems/issues I sought to address better:
- The question of meaning and purpose
- The problem of evil (this is a massive one)
- Teleology (divine activity and science)
- Free will
- Consciousness (subjective experience)
However, in order to find legitimate answers to these, there needed to be a criterion established. These were the criteria I chose:
- Verisimilitude (a reasonable likelihood it’s true)
- Be reasonable (given our sense of reality)
- Take seriously religious intuitions (tries to avoid just an academic exercise)
- Be systematic
- Be science-friendly
- Better address problems
- Be world affirming
Then as I said, it had to be systematic. Which for me means:
- Logically sound (this means following the rules of logic)
- Coherent (makes sense, nothing obscure)
- Consistent (no self-contradictions)
- Rigorous (details matter)
- Complete (doesn’t leave out anything pertinent)
- Elegant (no contrivances to overcome a problem)
Now, that’s a lot to consider but, at least for me, nothing less rigorous would do.