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A website for the book by Ian J Thompson:

"Rational Scientific Theories from Theism"


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Previous: 28.2 Permanent development Up: 28. Spiritual Growth Next: 28.4 Stages of spiritual growth

28.3 What spiritual growth is not

Permanent spiritual growth comes from the joint action of (good) love with (true) wisdom, according to theistic science. Unfortunately, that view has not been widely understood, and a variety of simplified theories has been promulgated in the past. Those theories claim that spiritual growth depends on much simpler requirements that we now see are insufficient.

Permanent spiritual growth, for example, does not come from any one of the following things by itself:

Belief: since this is just in the understanding and does not change loves in the will.
Knowledge, even of truths (wisdom): knowledge of what is true, even of what is good, is no use unless it is used to reform the will. It is ‘faith alone’ to think that only knowledge is efficacious.
Blind obedience: obedience to truth is fruitful, but blind obedience has no input from wisdom in the understanding.
Good intentions or love: love needs wisdom in order to act for good purposes. Good intentions ‘mean well’ but often stray through lack of insight, even lack of common sense.
Suffering: suffering by itself is something that happens to us not something we do. There are many causes of suffering (natural and human); what is spiritually significant is how we respond to these.28.2
Personal imputation of the suffering of others: The suffering of others, even of Jesus, cannot help us unless we examine our life and bring it into agreement with the good that he is bringing to us.
Elevated, expanded, rotated, vibrated (etc.) consciousness: Expanding our consciousness even to the whole universe and over all time, or making it run fast or slow, does not show us what is spiritual, let alone help us regenerate our spiritual nature.
The point is that within theistic science none of these things can even exist by itself. I am not saying that the presence of the above things has no effect on spiritual growth. I want to contradict some existing theories which say that one of these things is all we need for permanent spiritual development.

Table 28.1: Stages of spiritual growth: the relevant 3 sub-degrees of the spiritual on the left, and the 3 sub-sub-degrees of the higher rational in the center.
1: Spiritual degree
love in the spirit
2: Mental degree thoughts in mind
3: Physical degree actions in the body
love of good: 1.1
thoughts of love of good: 2.11
thoughts of love of truth: 2.11
thoughts of love of action: 2.13
physical effects
love of truth: 1.2
scientific rational: 2.2
love of action: 1.3
external mind: 2.3

Previous: 28.2 Permanent development Up: 28. Spiritual Growth Next: 28.4 Stages of spiritual growth

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