How Descartes shrank our view of Humanity

With
Tony Golsby-Smith
Series
Incarnation: Detour or Destiny?
Published
Series
Incarnation: Detour or Destiny?
4.2.2019

Tony’s latest series of talks will position Ron’s talks on Mind and Matter in a biblical context.  Ron’s talks on mind over Matter have humanised creation and reintroduced mystery to nature.  In this talk Tony's asks, how does this apply to our theology of creation, of the relation between man and God, God and the natural world?  All of these questions come to a head in our view of the Incarnation – was it a ‘detour’ or was it actually necessary as defining the destiny of all  creation?  Was Iraneaus right when he said that the Incarnation was necessary even without sin?  This debate has been pivotal in the Christian tradition and has vast implications. Tony will overview some of the history of the debate, and then move to its implications for the Incarnation, and for the Incarnation’s implications for our topic of mind v matter. Ron will return for a final talk on quantum theory the month after Tony’s talk.

Tony Golsby-Smith

Tony has been the original architect of Gospel Conversations—rather like the conductor of an orchestra—in which his role as the conductor is to attract musicians who are better than he is. In many ways, Gospel Conversations is a journey of exploration shared by Tony and his good friends.

Tony’s professional life explains a lot about the paths of inquiry that Gospel Conversations takes. He is trained originally in English Literature—and poetry in particular—before his first career as a secondary school teacher.  This made him comfortable with mystery and ambiguity as necessary roads to the knowledge of God. He has always been fascinated by the mystery of how human beings create and think, and this led him into a long and influential career in Strategy consulting where his firm, Second Road, helps organisations think together more effectively so they can design the future they desire. All of this gave him a high view of humanity, and the faculties by which we design our worlds—and it also gave him a front-row seat watching how humans collaborate to alter realities and shape worlds. His deep grasp of poetics gave him a Romantic theology—with a view of language that TS Eliot called a ‘raid on the inarticulate’ rather than as a scientific exercise towards precision and definition.

Behind this set of intellectual perspectives—which predispose him to exploring horizons of faith—lies his sense of being enveloped by the lifelong love of the God-man, Jesus of Nazareth, and a predilection for radical grace as the defining feature of God’s work with the cosmos—a legacy he first received from his wondrous mother, Patricia. She prayed every day that Tony would articulate to the world the love of Christ that she experienced but felt lost for words in expressing.

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