The purpose of this book is to try and present a series of images that will allow us to understand how it is indeed possible for an invisible being, God, to be part of our material reality, the universe, in an manner that is both significant and consistent with what we currently understand about that reality. This work is organized along theological lines, using theological categories from the Christian faith as a framework on which to paint this new image. This exploration also relies on contemplative practice and teachings as a method for examining reality, as the spiritual tradition will help us see all things new. Such a discussion will be useful on several fronts. One is for the person of faith inside the church who may, consciously or unconsciously, be anxious about discussing a faith built upon a model of reality, the Three-Story Universe, they kw to be false. I believe that if this person had ather more consistent model or image to draw from that they would be more confident about being a person of faith in the modern world. Hopefully this work will also be of help to the thousands of people who have left the church precisely because they can longer deal with a faith based upon an image of material reality that is untrue. Perhaps if they had an image of faith and reality that was more consistent they would be able to reconnect with their faith lives in a more meaningful way. Finally, I hope that this work will be useful in interfaith dialogue. People of different faiths continue to kill one ather by the thousands often because of differences in doctrine and dogma. But what if the images of our faith began to derive from the common image of the universe that we all, wether we are willing to admit it or t, share? Perhaps we could begin to relate to each other from a stance and posture that was more peaceful.
Daniel Wolpert worked as a research scientist, psychologist and spiritual director, a farmer, a teacher, and a construction worker before earning his Masters of Divinity degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS). Over the past twenty five years he has taught in the fields of psychology and spiritual formation and led retreats in such settings as the Art of Spiritual Direction Program at SFTS, the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project, national ministry conferences, UCLA, UND medical school, Luther Seminary, and numerous churches. Daniel currently serves as the church pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Crookston, MN and is a co-founder of the Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing (MICAH, www.micahprays.org). He is also the author of Leading a Life with God, the practice of spiritual leadership (Upper Room 2006), Creating a Life with God: the call of ancient prayer practices (Upper Room 2003), and co-author of Meeting God in Virtual Reality: using spiritual practices with media (Abingdon 2004). He is married to Dr. Debra Bell and they have two sons, Sam and Max.
Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders Daniel Wolpert