A PENTECOSTAL PERSPECTIVE ON ENTROPY, EMERGENT SYSTEMS, AND ESCHATOLOGY

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Abstract.

Many contemporary theologies have given considerable attention to the inbreaking work of God whereby the Spirit imbues creation with life and vitality, but in the process the seriousness of the destructive forces that plague the world has been overlooked. This oversight not only has significant theological consequences, but it also generates a tension with scientific postulates about physical reality. Paradoxically, increasing complexity, including emergent life systems, arise in spite of the overarching conditions. I posit from a theological perspective that the Spirit acts within the world to generate pockets of organization out of disorder. The Spirit not only was present and active at initial creation but also continues to act within the cosmos, sustaining the natural order and giving rise to innovative acts of creation. The world, which groans for and anticipates transformation, experiences local decreases in entropy as proleptic events of God's inbreaking kingdom. This theological hypothesis provides the framework for considering an eschatological response to the world's decay.

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