hailstreak  introduced me to the word panentheism.  According to hailstreak:

Panentheism is the belief that “God is IN all.” As a panentheist, I believe that God is in nature and can be experienced through nature. God’s creative energy moves through nature, and God is always creating. However, God also transcends nature and is distinct from it. Panentheism is different from pantheism, which states that “God IS all.” A pantheist believes that God IS nature, and that God does not transcend nature in any way. Pantheism is not compatible with the Christian faith. Panentheism is compatible with the Christian faith, but most Christians unfortunately reject it, believing that God is completely separate from nature, and that nature is nothing more than mere resources to be exploited by humans.

Or according to another website: panentheism is “the belief that the divine is in all things and unifies all things but is ultimately greater than all things.”

My thoughts of late have marveled at the immensity and purposeful complexity of the natural world, how some men have chosen to imitate and subordinate themselves to its order, and how this leads to a kind of unassuming simplicity in both themselves and the marks they leave on the world.  Through them and their actions, so much else becomes clear to me: a vision of Jesus living a humble life alongside sinners, a bridegroom giving all for his bride, and a worldwide fellowship of believers in which the standard pyramid chain of command is inverted and the greatest among them is truly the least.  What a breath of fresh air.

It seems to me that the way that friends of Jesus (or Christians if you prefer that name) conduct themselves in relationship to the natural world is a reflection of the way they conduct themselves in relationship to other believers and to the Father himself, and reveals a pattern of their heart.  Though not a perfect reflection, it is a strong one.  

It is not inevitable that farming practices must isolate us from each other and from the food that we eat, or disfigure or poison the soil, water, and air that nourish our bodies; nor is it inevitable that our need to be sheltered or to travel result in the same outcomes.  If there is anyone who would be able to have a solution to offer, it should be those who claim to have a personal relationship with the Person who made it all.  

Thanks, [info]hailstreak .


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