A Christian Theory of Everything (4/5)
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6)
The key to unlocking the mystery of the cosmos is to understand where it came from; More specifically, whom it came from. Second Corinthians 4:6 provides a clear reference to Genesis 1:1-4, with one subtle difference. In quoting God’s command “let there be light,” the Apostle Paul adds the line “out of darkness.” This is likely a reference to the spiritual darkness brought about by Satan’s blinding work on earth.
Genesis 1:1-4 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without from and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.”
God created the world by fiat. Here the Spirit of God hovered over the waters, the command was given for light to shine in darkness, then God affirmed that the light is good. As we will see tomorrow, there is a striking parallel in the New Testament account of the baptism of Christ. Thus, the creation and the incarnation allow us to properly understand the meta-themes of our universe. Creation and redemption are integral and necessary for a theory of everything.
However, for centuries man has thought the universe was eternal and uncreated. We can rightly blame Aristotle for this foible. Like the secularism of our day, this fallacy blinded many from believing in God. Yet, science has allowed us to see this is not the case. However, one must note, in the face of Aristotle’s misstep, and down through the centuries, the Bible did have it right all along. There are two discoveries which helped to place the nails into the coffin of an eternal universe theory:
1. Through the discoveries of the Hubble Telescope we were able to see that our universe is expanding; a tell-tale sign that there was a time when it exploded out of nothing. In 1948, Edwin Hubble was asked by a BBC reporter to reflect on the discoveries made possible by the new telescope, to which he replied, “We hope to find something we hadn’t expected.” Stephen Hawking heralded Hubble’s achievements as “one of the great intellectual revolutions in the twentieth century.”
2. Discovery of background radiation: In 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson created a new antenna designed to detect low levels of microwave radiation. It was so sensitive that they found they could not get rid of the “background noise” particularly when it was pointed into space. However, they discovered a study from Princeton University that predicted that if it were able to be detected, scientists should find background radiation in space left over from the explosion of the Big Bang. In time, Penzias and Wilson realized that that was precisely what they had found. In 1978 they received a Nobel Prize for their discovery.
In reflecting on this discovery, Penzias said “The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.” Similarly, Robert Jastrow recognized the insight religion provided for understanding origins. Jastrow was an accomplished astrophysicist who led multiple initiatives at NASA. Although he remained an agnostic until his death in 2008, in his earlier published work he made this remarkable admission:
“At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
Understanding origins is fundamental to developing a theory of everything. In spite of popular philosophical commitments to the contrary, science continues to confirm the Bible’s claims regarding creation . In an interview with Christianity Today Robert Jastrow made another astounding admission:
“Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”
Christians have rightfully considered these “supernatural forces” which Jastrow refers to as “scientifically proven fact” to be the very work of God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness. Tomorrow, in the last post of this series, we will consider the implications of this truth further as we look at “Incarnation” and “Regeneration.”
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. (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)