God and Nature

One of my favorite sayings comes from the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, in which he says,

“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.”

I said this and a Christian immediately engaged me quoting John 14:6,

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The implication is that taking nature — that is, the natural environment — and the stewardship of His creation seriously is not the same as worshiping nature. The relationship between has been fraught with tension, as indicated by my Christian interlocutor, with the fundamental divide being that between a human, social, or anthropomorphic and natural, environmental, or biocentric view of the world. While there’s a bit of tension and history there, the perspective will be fundamentally philosophical as the relationship here is dialectical in the Hegelian sense. That is, there is the concept of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis that is confusing in the social, verbal world but is totally normal and almost easy in the natural, mathematical world. It also goes, almost without saying, that trinitarianism isomorphically relates to dialecticalism — that is, it maps in a one-to-one fashion. Although the social and natural environments are separate, they are also related. There are some details to work through here, but I want to concentrate on one interpretation, which starts with Psalm 19.

  • 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies pr`oclaim the work of his hands.
  • 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
  • 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
  • 4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
    In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
  • 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
  • 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.
  • 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
  • 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
    The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
  • 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
    The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
  • 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
    they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
  • 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
  • 12 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
  • 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.
    Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
  • 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

God is the mysterious, complex, infinite first moving force that gave us life. However, understanding that force is much more than one person could hope to accomplish. Therefore, we count on previous generation trying in good faith to understand God in the form of religion. Also, might I proffer that as Frank Lloyd Wright said, there is a unity between the concepts of God and nature. However, I propose considering that Jesus is who teaches us about God and helps us to understand God. As it is written in John 14:6, 

“No one comes to the Father except through me.”

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