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Introduction to Systemic Theology
 

Introduction to Systemic Theology

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This provides an introduction to a new field of theology, called Systemic Theology. Systemic Theology provides a systems perspective of understanding God and the world.

This provides an introduction to a new field of theology, called Systemic Theology. Systemic Theology provides a systems perspective of understanding God and the world.

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  • God only works in the supernatural (breaking natural laws) Only demonstration of God working is by breaking natural laws Science and theology operate in different domains and theology is a small domain of knowledge Puts focus on: Natural laws because they govern everything except when God decides to break them Materialism because it can be measured and seen The exterior vs. the interior Asking “What is True?” Takes focus away from: The Spiritual, Beauty, Culture, Asking “What is Good?” The Internal experience and the Collective perspective Causes us to look for God only in the supernatural Hebraic understanding didn’t have this separation. This came from Greek, Roman and Western cultural influence.
  • The systems of the world can be broken across two axis: interior/exterior and individual/Collective. The exterior is the physical and what can been seen and measured. The interior is not seen but can be experienced. Spiritual growth can be viewed as a developmental model of advancing levels through each quadrant The Individual side is focused on Individual people and individualistic perspective The Collective side is focused on how people and things operate Collectively So that creates four quadrants that have more common names: The exterior-individual is the physical body (the Individual “it” perspective) The interior-individual is the mind or what you experience Internally as an Individual (the “I” perspective) The interior-Collective is culture or the Collective Internal experience of groups(the “we” perspective) The exterior-Collective is society or the Collective External experience of groups (the “they” perspective) Like any model, this serves as a rough approximation to understand a more complex reality, but it is a helpful one. Borrowed this basic framework from Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything .
  • Each quadrant has different levels of systems that each build on the level below it. For the exterior Individual quadrent: Molecules are made of atoms Cells are made of molecules Plants are made of cells, etc. Animals get their nourishment from other plants, etc. The Internal-individual is the quadrant of the sciences, and each science corresponds to levels of systems Physics: atoms Chemistry: molecules Biology: Cells, etc. This quadrant also includes fields which that are focused on External measures take an individualistic perspective like capitalist economics and most engineering Each quadrant also has supernatural components: Biblically, there is the promise that those that go to Heaven will eventually have physical resurrected bodies.
  • For the interior Individual perspective or the mind, there are also different levels of systems which include: Inanimate objects which have no interior perspective Then basic life And then different levels of consciousness that correspond to different levels of animals and personal development This quadrant includes the Humanities which are the fields that either try to understand or influence the mind including: The Arts, Psychology, Western theology, Western Philosophy and Ontology The supernatural element in this quadrant is that once we get to Heaven we will sin no more and our spirits will be made perfect in Christ.
  • For the interior-Collective perspective or the mind or culture, the different levels of systems represent different cultural systems that roughly correspond the other levels of systems from the other quadrant. Inanimate objects have no culture and survive without any self-direction The next level is animalistic survival The next level of cultural development is paganism, which is basically a more sophisticated animalistic survival that incorporates an hedonistic, anarchic form of religion Shamanistic religion is one in which there is some religious direction, but that direction is set by a “shaman” or unchecked religious leader. Law-based religion is a religion based on rules and includes: Judaism, Islam, Legalistic Christianity, Fundamentalist Hinduism, etc. Christianity broke from law based religion For a period in the Book of Acts, we Christians were truly a Living Body of Christ, but since the time of Constantine, the majority of Christians have been subject to the cultures and norms of their nations. This includes most Christianity today. A Global Living Body of Christ would be a global community like that of Acts This quadrant includes Cultural Studies which are the fields that either try to understand or influence culture and Collective experience including: Anthropology, Ethics, Justice, Eastern Religions Performance Arts (which are focused on influencing the Internal experience of groups of people) Cosmology which tries to relate the Internal experience of humans with the universe in a holistic way The supernatural element in this quadrant is the vision of Heavenly worship in Revelation 7:9-12: After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honour and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!"
  • For the exterior-Collective perspective or society, there are different levels of societal development which include: No relationships Broken relationships: animalistic Loose Families: which could include both formal families or a short term group of people you care about that are “your people”; in modern terms this would be anti-social isolationist short-term families and friendships Tribes: this corresponds to the hunter/gatherer stage of societal development; in modern terms this would be “gang culture” Village: this corresponds to societies that have developed horticulture enabling village life; in modern terms this would be a city dominated by corrupt politics that ruthlessly only favors the “in” group Early state: this corresponds to societies where the majority of the economy is agricultural-based with unstable governments Nation state: this corresponds to societies with stable national governments that follow a materialist economic model (consumerist capitalism, socialism or communism) All Christians Globally loving their “neighbors”. Society where the Body of Christ is unified globally and all Christians love everyone in the world is their neighbor (as defined in the parable of the Good Samaritan). This quadrant includes the fields studying how human systems are organized (social sciences) as well as how physical systems are organized (holistic sciences) Social Sciences: Sociology, Law, Socialist Economics, Political Sciences, History Holistic Sciences: Epidemiology, Systems Engineering, Systems Theory, Ecology, Astronomy
  • Now that the basic model of systemic theology has been presented, we can start explaining how it is a helpful worldview. One way that it is helpful is to understand that the point of systemic theology is that God Operates Everywhere. At all levels of systems. At the same time, evil is real and it operates at different levels of systems. God is about creating life, and He acts to bring health across all four quadrants. Spiritual growth in all four quadrants is to move outward God also moves in the miraculous in each of the four quadrants Healing Salvation Revival Social Movement of God Evil also operates in all four quadrants and works to bring death Sickness & physical oppression Addiction, Abuse and Lies Religious & Cultural Oppression Political & Economic Oppression & Calamities (natural disasters, plague)
  • If you take the whole model together, you see that each circle represents related levels of systems. We live in a global spiritual battle of God promoting life and health and Satan promoting death and sickness. Like any model, this serves as a rough approximation to understand a more complex reality, but it is a helpful one. Some fields and systems might not neatly fit into one particular area, but the goal is to show the general pattern.
  • This shows someone’s predisposition based on their personality and background. People can overcome their background by intentionally learning about areas where they are weak.
  • Applying systemic theology to a current problem like addiction helps explain how systemic theology can be helpful. Most problems like addiction have multiple inter-related causes. Using the four quadrants and the different fields in each quadrant helps to understand different potential causes. We often try to simplify things into one cause, and we have big debates over which item is the only cause. These debates often can be summarized as “I believe Quadrant x is the most important (because of my predisposition) vs. I believe Quadrant y is the most important (based on my predisposition).” If we understand multifaceted systemic causes, we can come up with a multifaceted solution.
  • The different levels of the Interior Individual quadrant have a relationship to Developmental Psychology (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) and the FiveFold ministry gifts. This chart expands Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Integrating Christian Elements (fivefold ministry) The first level is needs. The second level is the type of ministry serving those needs. It’s not that a given ministry is more important, it’s just that they address different needs Physiological: if you are dying of thirst, you are not worried about your social life next Friday. This is met by outreach ministries that might provide food, water and disaster relief. Safety: You are homeless or about to get shot, you are not worried about your social life next Friday. This is met by outreach ministries that might provide shelter for the homeless, after-school programs for youth in unsafe neighborhoods Emotional Needs & Emotional Healing: Pastors serve emotional needs of individuals; evangelist serve the emotional needs of groups (Collective) Salvation is a heart level decision: Romans 10:10 “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Fivefold ministry: Pastor, Evangelists, Teachers, Prophets & Apostles Esteem: Development of the rational side, going to college, often happens before people get emotional stability and health in their lives; The fivefold ministry that serves at this level is Teachers; spiritual development at this level is called discipleship Sanctification: theological term involving emotional healing, discipleship and living out your calling. Ephesians 4:11-13 “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Being truly Christlike only happens once we get to Heaven. Hebrews 11:40, “God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” Class bias: Spiritual needs are all these needs not just the ones that seem “spiritual” (i.e. emotional, discipleship, etc.). Lower-class needs are often more focused on safety and physiological and are essential, while these are often not an issue for middle-class Christians. All of this is a rough approximation of development Does not have to be sequential, and in fact most people develop at multiple levels a the same time. God breaks down some of this hierarchy, so that people may suspend their physical needs to love someone.
  • The term the Butterfly Effect came from a scientist, Edward Lorenz did atmospheric models, and found that changing a tiny parameter that was the equivalent of a butterfly’s flapping it’s wings, changed weather across the world, so he gave a talk Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas .
  • Territorial spirits in the Bible Demonic system of slavery, apartheid, segregation, racism Demon of alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual abuse Demons give power in the short term, but charge a long term cost. Anything you worship other than God can become demonic. Can Christians be possessed by demons? No Can Christians be oppressed by demons? Yes
  • What are the fundamental strongholds or demons that affect us today? There are overarching systems that affect the current times Systemic Health: leading causes of death in developed countries are all have systemic causes: heart disease, cancer, stroke, lung disease; Their causes are all systemic and very hard to prove using science: Case in point: companies still try to debate whether smoking causes cancer Causes of these things are: diet, obesity, pollution, addictions We have already covered addiction in a previous slide.
  • Examples of cultural exploitation The war in the Middle East from their perspective is as more about avoiding cultural exploitation from the decadence of Western culture than it is about oil. The same is true in many developing countries like China, etc. The IMF, WTO and World Bank require agreements that force open cultural barriers that enable cultural exploitation by companies. Many believe that Hip Hop culture has been hijacked, so rather than representing what Black and urban leaders would present, it is now reflecting what White kids in the suburbs, who buy the CD’s what to see.
  • Reconciling Evolution Imaging that all time is like a giant movie that God has in his consciousness God has chosen to give evidence that the universe started long ago Light from stars millions of light years away Does it matter whether God “fast forwarded the movie” to start 6,000 years ago or not because all evidence is the same either way Worldview that reduces humans to animals is a religious statement that is spiritually destructive and is the result of a materialist lens rather than scientific proof
  • In conclusion, Systemic Theology is needed as a new form of theology to address today’s issues. This talk is just the Introduction to systemic theology. What will a more complete Systemic Theology look like? I think the Internet and the Web provide some good models of what a more fully developed Systemic Theology might look like. Imagine a Wikipedia with every possible topic that might promote spiritual growth? Systemic Theology that was just knowledge would be useless without action. Imagine a social network where every Christian were connected with the areas of greatest needs in the world where that matched their gifts

Introduction to Systemic Theology Introduction to Systemic Theology Presentation Transcript

  • Introduction to Systemic Theology Andrew Sears www.techmission.org
  • The Need for Systemic Theology
    • World is becoming increasingly complex and interdependent
      • Systems theory is the scientific response
      • Systemic theology is the spiritual response
    • Systems theory only recognizes the what can be quantified (the External)
    • Traditional theology does not reflect the reality and address the needs of the world today
  • Traditional Theology =
    • God only works in the supernatural (breaking natural laws)
    • Only demonstration of God working is by breaking natural laws
    • Science and theology operate in different domains and theology is a small domain of knowledge
    • Puts focus on:
      • Natural laws because they govern everything except when God decides to break them
      • Materialism because it can be measured and seen
      • The exterior vs. the interior
      • Asking “What is True?”
    • Takes focus away from:
      • The Spiritual, Beauty, Culture, Asking “What is Good?”
      • The Internal experience and the Collective perspective
    • Causes us to look for God only in the supernatural
    Natural Supernatural
  • Natural Supernatural Science Capitalist Economics Engineering Life Sciences Biology Chemistry Physics Humanities Arts Philosophy Psychology Ontology Cultural Studies Anthropology Ethics Justice Performance Arts Cosmology Social Sciences Epidemiology Sociology Law Socialist Economics Political Science History Systems Theory Ecology Astronomy Fields: Theology Fields:
  • Principles of Systemic Theology
    • Systemic theology provides a systems perspective of understanding God
    • God works at all levels of all systems
    • God can defy natural laws since He created them
    • God also influences events at every level of systems without defying natural laws
    • Systemic theology covers all knowledge: all truth is God’s Truth
    • Avoid a false separation of the spiritual and the natural
    • Look for God throughout our lives in the natural and supernatural
    • Focus on the systemic causes of things to understand their spiritual depth
    * Systemic theology should not be confused with “systematic theology,” which is a term used to refer to a complete, analytical approach to theology.
  • 2. Interior-Individual (I/mind) 1. Exterior-Individual (it/body) 3. Interior-Collective (we/culture) 4. Exterior Collective (they/society)
  • 2. Interior-Individual (I/mind) 1. Exterior-Individual (it/body) 3. Interior-Collective (we/culture) 4. Exterior Collective (they/society) Atoms Molecules Cells Plants Animals Mammals Resurrected Bodies Increasing Health & Skill Humans Fields Science Capitalist Economics Engineering Life Sciences Biology Chemistry Physics
  • 2. Interior-Individual (I/mind) 1. Exterior-Individual (it/body) 3. Interior-Collective (we/culture) 4. Exterior Collective (they/society) Atoms Molecules Cells Plants Animals Mammals Resurrected Bodies Increasing Health & Skill Humans Fields Science Capitalist Economics Engineering Life Sciences Biology Chemistry Physics Inanimate Life Perceiving ( Physiological Needs) Impulsive (Establishing Safety) Emotional (Belonging /Healing/Pastoral) Rational (Growing in Truth/ Teaching) Living Your Calling Christ like Spirit Apostolic/Prophetic Fields Humanities Arts Western Theology Western Philosophy Psychology Ontology
  • 2. Interior-Individual (I/mind) 1. Exterior-Individual (it/body) 3. Interior-Collective (we/culture) 4. Exterior Collective (they/society) Undirected Survival Animalistic Survival Paganism Shamanistic Religion Law Based Religion Christian Nationalism Global Living Body of Christ Heavenly Worship Fields Cultural Studies Anthropology Ethics Justice Eastern Religions Performance Arts Cosmology Atoms Molecules Cells Plants Animals Mammals Resurrected Bodies Increasing Health & Skill Humans Fields Science Capitalist Economics Engineering Life Sciences Biology Chemistry Physics Inanimate Life Perceiving ( Physiological Needs) Impulsive (Establishing Safety) Emotional (Belonging /Healing/Pastoral) Rational (Growing in Truth/ Teaching) Living Your Calling Christ like Spirit Apostolic/Prophetic Fields Humanities Arts Western Theology Philosophy Psychology Ontology
  • 2. Interior-Individual (I/mind) 1. Exterior-Individual (it/body) 3. Interior-Collective (we/culture) 4. Exterior Collective (they/society) All Christians Globally Loving their “neighbors” New Heaven & Earth No relationships Broken Relationships Loose Families Tribes (hunter/gatherer) Village (horticulture) Early State (agrarian) Nation State (materialist economy) Fields Social Sciences Sociology Law Socialist Economics Political Science History Epidemiology Systems Engineering Systems Theory Ecology Astronomy Undirected Survival Animalistic Survival Paganism Shamanistic Religion Law Based Religion Christian Nationalism Global Living Body of Christ Heavenly Worship Fields Cultural Studies Anthropology Ethics Justice Eastern Religions Performance Arts Cosmology Atoms Molecules Cells Plants Animals Mammals Resurrected Bodies Increasing Health & Skill Humans Fields Science Capitalist Economics Engineering Life Sciences Biology Chemistry Physics Inanimate Life Perceiving ( Physiological Needs) Impulsive (Establishing Safety) Emotional (Belonging /Healing/Pastoral) Rational (Growing in Truth/ Teaching) Living Your Calling Christ like Spirit Apostolic/Prophetic Fields Humanities Arts Western Theology Philosophy Psychology Ontology
  • Systemic Theology = God Operates Everywhere 2. Interior-Individual (I/mind) 1. Exterior-Individual (it/body) 3. Interior-Collective (we/culture) 4. Exterior Collective (they/society) Mental Illness, Lies, Abuse & Addiction Sickness & Physical Oppression Religious & Cultural Oppression Political & Economic Oppression & Calamities Spiritual Growth Salvation Physical Healing Revival Social Movements
  • Systemic Theology = God Operates Everywhere Mental Illness, Lies, Abuse & Addiction Sickness & Physical Oppression Religious & Cultural Oppression Political & Economic Oppression & Calamities 2. Interior-Individual (I/mind) 1. Exterior-Individual (it/body) 3. Interior-Collective (we/culture) 4. Exterior Collective (they/society) All Christians Globally Loving their “neighbors” New Heaven & Earth No relationships Broken Relationships Family Tribes (hunter/gatherer) Village (horticulture) Early State (agrarian) Nation State (materialist economy) Fields Social Sciences Epidemiology Sociology Law Socialist Economics Political Science History Systems Theory Ecology Astronomy Undirected Survival Group Survival Paganism Shamanistic Religion Law Based Religion Christian Nationalism Global Living Body of Christ Heavenly Worship Fields Cultural Studies Anthropology Ethics Justice Eastern Religions Performance Arts Cosmology Atoms Molecules Cells Plants Animals Mammals Resurrected Bodies Increasing Health & Skill Humans Fields Science Capitalist Economics Engineering Life Sciences Biology Chemistry Physics Inanimate Life Perceiving ( Physiological Needs) Impulsive (Establishing Safety) Emotional (Belonging /Healing/Pastoral) Rational (Growing in Truth/ Teaching) Living Your Calling Christ like Spirit Apostolic/Prophetic Fields Humanities Arts Western Theology Philosophy Psychology Ontology Spiritual Growth Salvation Physical Healing Revival Social Movements
  • Ways We Get Separated
    • “ We see through a glass darkly”
      • The glass is different colors for different people
      • Most people only see one part of one quadrant
    • Each person’s personality and culture predisposes their lens on the world
      • Big Picture = Collective
      • Detail Oriented = Individual
      • Thinkers = External
      • Feelers = Internal
      • Western Culture = Individual and External
      • Eastern Culture = Collective and Internal
      • Conservative = Individual
      • Liberal = Collective
      • Secular = Exterior
      • Religious = Interior
      • Protestant = Individual
      • Catholic = Collective
  • The Difference Between Academic Knowledge and Action/Experience
    • All Fields in all four quadrants are only academic knowledge of the External of those areas
      • “ Psychology will never tell you what Pizza tastes like.”
    • All growth comes from action & experience
      • Achieving health vs. Medicine
      • Healthy relationships vs. Psychology
      • Creating healthy culture vs. Anthropology
      • Creating a just society vs. Political Science
    • To address systemic problems, you need to:
      • Understand systemic causes in all 4 quadrants
      • Implement action plan to address causes in 4 quadrants
  • Understanding Addiction (knowledge)
    • Biochemistry of addiction
    • Medical Treatments
    • Hereditary predisposition
    • Easy access to drugs/addiction
    • Lack of physical care of bodies
    • Biophysical emotional predisposition
    • Unemployment
    • Lack of emotional intelligence
    • Personal isolation/broken relationships
    • Spiritual emptiness
    • Wounds from abuse
    • Separation from God
    • Cultural devaluation of emotion,
    • spiritual, relationships, etc.
    • Subcultures where addiction is norm
    • Drugs, alcohol, sex, food & materialism
    • promoted in Mass media
    • Current cultural oppression (racism, etc.)
    • Cultural inheritance from past oppression
    • “ Worship” of sex, hedonism and other
    • “ gods” permeates culture
    • Breakdown of family
    • Lack of jobs
    • Systemic Oppression (Racism, etc.)
    • Political priorities
    • Economics of drug trade
    • Global exploitation
    • Failed States/Governments
    • Globalization of crime
    2. Interior-Individual (I/mind) 1. Exterior-Individual (it/body) 3. Interior-Collective (we/culture) 4. Exterior Collective (they/society)
  • Addressing Addiction (action)
    • Get on proper psychotropic medication
    • Remove access to addictive item
    • Avoid HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired)
    • Get a job
    • Go to Counseling
    • Get healthy friendships
    • Form identity
    • Establish physical & emotional safety
    • Pursue spiritual fulfillment
    • Get healing from wounds of abuse
    • Get connected to God
    • Spiritual revival
    • Pursue or create subcultures that value emotion, spiritual, relationships, etc.
    • Avoid Subcultures where addiction is norm
    • Avoid triggering mass media
    • Pursue groups that help to cope with cultural oppression
    • Pursue groups that positively address
    • cultural inheritance from past oppression
    • Immerse in culture that Worships God
    • Restore and build up family
    • Support groups that are addressing addiction, oppression, promote policies addressing addiction, and addressing global systemic causes of drug trade
    2. Interior-Individual (I/mind) 1. Exterior-Individual (it/body) 3. Interior-Collective (we/culture) 4. Exterior Collective (they/society)
  • Stages of Spiritual Growth & Fivefold Ministry
  • Spirituality & the Butterfly Effect
    • Butterfly Effect
      • Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?
    • How God affects systems
      • He knows which butterfly to touch to avoid the tornado
    • Apostles and prophets
      • Apostles and prophets are often associated with social movements or revivals (impacting Culture and Society)
      • Apostles and prophets listen to God who tells them which butterfly’s to touch to create a movement
      • Prophets identify the movement and apostles lead it
    • Spiritual Examples
      • Social: Rosa Parks & Martin Luther King Jr., William Wilberforce, William Booth, etc.
      • Revivals: George Whitefield, John Wesley, Dwight Moody
  • Spirituality and Materialism
    • Materialism is a lens/worldview/religion that focuses only on External, reductionist answers
    • Assumptions of materialism form a lens that distort reality in a way that leads to spiritual regression
      • External lens only shows the External quadrants by definition
      • Reductionist lens gives preference to the center by definition
      • Creates hostility between religion and science
    • Sub-Branches of Materialism
      • Scientific method: only values what can be measured & reproduced
      • Capitalism & Communism: societal progress is in only what can be measured
      • Objectivism: philosophy that only objective truth is important
      • Evolution: assumes that humans are the same as animals
      • Humanism: humans determine all truth and good using only rational thought without God
  • Understanding the Limits of Science
    • Each “level” has its own science with different sets of laws & models
      • Only simple examples accurately follow models
    • Most systems are too complex to be solvable
      • Math: ratio of solvable problems to unsolvable problems is zero
      • Physics: Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle provides fundamental limit to knowledge
      • Chaos Theory: these limits and system complexity create fundamental limits to knowledge in other fields
    • “ We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.” – Einstein
      • Chaos Theory is likely to prove that we can never know more than that
  • Why is the World Powerless Against Modern Problems?
    • Our Internal and Collective perspectives are underdeveloped
    • We lack the tools needed to address the world’s most important problems:
      • Addiction, Cultural Degradation, Racism, Climate Change, Terrorism
    • Need a systemic view that understands complexities of multiple causes
    • Bias toward academic understanding rather than action and experience
  • Growth in Spirit and Truth
      • John 4:23-24 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.“
    • Knowledge of External = Academic = Truth
      • Primarily comes through teaching and learning
      • Scientific method applies to External
    • Growth of the Internal = Spirit
      • Primarily comes through Individual or Collective experience
      • You can study about Internal things, but growth comes from the experience
      • Emotional healing vs. studying psychology
      • Scientific method does not apply to Internal by definition
  • Replacing the Scientific Method
    • Scientific Method
    • Systemic Method
    • Focus: only on the External
      • what can be measured/replicated
    • Finding Truth
      • Scientific Method
      • Reductionist
    • Question
      • What is true?
    • Goal
      • Expand proven knowledge
    • Focus: on all four quadrants
    • Finding Truth
      • External: scientific method
      • Internal: five-fold ministry
      • Holistic
    • Questions
      • What is true?
      • What is helpful?
    • Goal
      • Grow in truth
      • Increasing health (life)
  • Systems and the Demonic
    • Atomic Model Example
      • No one has seen the atomic model, but it accurately describes what you can observe
      • Are atoms real? Yes
    • Demons
      • Individual Translation: addiction & abuse
      • Collective Translation: systemic & cultural oppression
      • You may not see it, but it accurately describes what you can observe
      • Are demons real? Yes
      • Biblical & historical examples
  • Fundamental Systemic Problems of our Age 2. Interior-Individual (I/mind) 1. Exterior-Individual (it/body) 3. Interior-Collective (we/culture) 4. Exterior Collective (they/society) Addiction Systemic Health Effects Cultural Exploitation in Media Exploitive Politics & Globalization
  • Cultural Exploitation in Media
    • Modern worship: Corporations use images of sex gods, youth, alcohol, drugs, materialism & violence, & those gods will bless them with increased profits.
    • We participate by consuming media which numbs us, keeps us occupied and creates a steady diet of sex, youth, alcohol, drugs, violence & materialistic consumption.
    • Those images affect us by causing us to put too much of our focus on those things (i.e. worship those things)
    • We become in bondage through addiction, debt, work commitments, etc.
    • Cultures are exploited and degraded often with major social consequences: women, hip hop culture, developing countries
  • Exploitive Politics & Globalization
    • Our system rewards politicians and companies that get things for you.
    • These politicians and companies aggressively try to get things for you.
    • They end up exploiting those with less power .
    • You benefit through reduced prices and increased benefits.
    • By supporting those politicians and companies you are contributing to systemic injustice.
    • Examples: unjust wars, economic exploitation, de facto segregation, racism, sexism, slavery, etc.
  • Understanding God
    • Imagine the entire universe (all systems) exists in God’s “brain” or consciousness
      • Like the movie the Matrix
      • God exists outside of space and time because they are created by His consciousness
      • Natural laws function like a computer program governing things, but God can modify the program at any time
      • Study of all laws/knowledge is the study of spiritual laws/knowledge
      • This perspective helps to reconcile science and religion (evolution)
  • Vision for Systemic Theology
    • Domain: Systemic theology covers all knowledge and experience that promotes spiritual growth
      • Goal is to promote spiritual growth
      • All truth is God’s Truth
      • Includes all fields
      • Internal “knowledge” must be experienced
      • How do we create systems that promote spiritual growth?
      • Will come from people with experience and knowledge across all four quadrants
    • Examples
      • UrbanMinistry.org : Wiki of knowledge promoting Individual and social spiritual growth
      • ChristianVolunteering.org : directory of experiences that promote spiritual growth
  • References & Credits
    • Scripture from New International Version (NIV)
    • The 4 quadrant framework and some of the levels of systems were drawn from A Brief History of Everything , Ken Wilber
    • Idea for using the term “Systemic Theology” came from a discussion with Doug Hall
    • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs
    • Thanks to TechMission staff who provided feedback on these ideas.