A Christian Theory of Everything (1/5)
“For then we would know the mind of God.”
This is the final line from Stephen Hawking’s 1988 book “A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes.”
Hawking is one of many physicists throughout the history of science who has sought a unifying vision of reality. Scientists have searched for TOE for a long time. Not a little TOE, or even a big TOE, but a grand-scale, super-TOE. TOE is short hand for a “Theory of Everything.” If we were to find this TOE, as Hawking suggests, we would know very mind of God:
“If we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God.” (Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time)
But the Christian has the audacity to claim that he already knows the mind of God. To be fair to Hawking, he doesn’t believe in God at all. However, for those who do, their search for a theory of everything is directed by an understanding that God is both Creator and Redeemer. For scientists like Isaac Newton through Francis Collins, this hasn’t hindered their science but rather enhanced it.
Edgar H. Andrews, Emeritus Professor of Materials at the University of London, in his book Who Made God: Searching for a Theory of Everything provides a helpful introduction to this topic that I will be posting on throughout the week:
……………………………………………………………………… Every day this week I will post a brief article on the topic of “A Christian Theory of Everything.” These posts are taken from a sermon I preached this weekend on 2 Corinthians 4 entitled, “Creation, Incarnation, & Regeneration: An Explanation of Reality.” I will post the audio and my sermon notes next week.
“As I explain in chapter three, the scientist’s dream is to develop a ‘theory of everything’ – a scientific theory that will encompass all the workings of the physical universe in a single self-consistent formulation. Fair enough, but there is more to the universe than matter, energy, space and time. Most of us believe in the real existence of non-material entities such as friendship, love, beauty, poetry, truth, faith, justice and so on – the things that actually make human life worth living. A true ‘theory of everything’, therefore, must embrace both material and non-material aspects of the universe, and my contention is that we already possess such a theory, namely, the hypothesis of God.”