The “God of the Gaps.”

Since I have written a book that attempts to unify God and science I am quite familiar with the phrase “God of the gaps.” It refers to a strategy used by defenders of religion that wherever there is a gap in our scientific knowledge that’s where you will find God working His miracles.  This strategy is most often used when defending the biblical view of creation rather than the scientific view of evolutionary theory.

I once saw a funny cartoon illustrating this point with a person writing a formula on a blackboard and in parentheses sticking in the phrase “miracle happens here” then continuing on with his equation.

One could also describe these gaps as “missing links.” These missing causal links are everywhere–in evolutionary fossils, in the collapse of the wavefunction, between the quantum world and large scale systems, between body and mind, at the very beginning of creation (from nothing), and most of all, between science and God.

Using, willy-nilly, the gaps in our knowledge as places where God’s divine miracles happen, does not sit well with the post-modern mind.

However, this does not rule out the existence of ontological or mathematically precise gaps inherent within universal process. Such an unusual concept was explored by scientist/theologian, Emanuel Swedenborg. His theory is that God created the universe through contiguity (rather than as a continuous process). This means that creation had to unfold itself through discrete jumps along the way.

Swedenborg’s unique model of this unfolding process was theistic and simulated an essential characteristic of God’s true nature—divine love. In a nutshell, for new things to come into existence, previous things had to co-exist. In other words, creation proceeded lawfully through increased cooperation. Such cooperation is indeed witnessed by the unity and interrelationships between all phenomena in the universe, including the earth’s complex biosphere.

So what fundamental and creative principle of agency could lead to such profound integration? Well, this fundamental striving in nature towards unity and holistic cooperation is expressed through both modern quantum theory and the religious principle of spiritual love.

The essence of love is to unite.

Religion, therefore, is the lawful extension of nature’s incessant endeavor to self-organize into newer and more dynamic forms of relationship. In the human race, this scheme is exalted into the highest form of cooperation—love towards others. This brings stable structure to human society and is a wonderful analog of God’s spiritual heaven. This relationship building is the mind of God.

This is just a small taste of what is covered in my 400+ page book.


About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
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