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Finding God (2)

by on June 15, 2012

Yesterday we thought about science and big things, on a grand scale. But a lot of time and money is also spent trying to understand little things.

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
(Hebrews 11:3 ESV)

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
(Colossians 1:16-17 ESV)

 

Quantum physics is the study of super-tiny particles that make up the things that we see. Popular writer Bill Bryson has said that “Neutrons and protons occupy the atom’s nucleus. The nucleus of an atom is tiny — only one-millionth of a billionth of the full volume of the atom — but fantastically dense, since it contains virtually all the atom’s mass. If an atom were expanded to the size of a cathedral, the nucleus would be only about the size of a fly — but a fly many times heavier than the cathedral”. Pretty mind-blowing. But, in many ways, the picture of an atom with a nucleus being orbited by electrons has become quite outdated – it is a materialist picture of things. In fact, as physicists look closer and closer at what stuff is actually made of, what material actually is, it gets more and more intriguing. Because some of the latest evidence and theory suggest that material is actually made up of vibrating strings of energy (not actual material at all, but energy) that have the appearance of what we see when we are looking at them. So material as we see it is not the way it actually is. It is held together in a way that we don’t understand, because it is not really solid matter. We are held together in a way that we don’t really understand. But, from a Christian point of view, these insights perhaps show us something of God’s power. We know that God is the underlying reality of this universe – we know that in Him all things hold together. Paul says elsewhere “In Him we live and move and have our being”.

So, does science get us closer to understanding God? In the sense of understanding the physical laws behind creation, and the awesomeness of the creative mind behind it, yes it does. But, we go back to the words of Pascal, and when we come from a study of nature, we have understood God as seen by the philosophers and men of science. What I want to say (and what Blaise Pascal was trying to say in his Memorial) is, there is so much more than that. Pascal’s experience was one of fire, one of ignition, excitement and passion, and God was at the root of it – and Pascal takes care to say that this is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – NOT of the philosophers and men of science. So how do we find out about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Well, the defining thing for Pascal, and for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob themselves, was a personal experience of that ultimate being. A relationship. Experience – something happened to Blaise Pascal on a night in 1654, and the experience of God changed how Pascal thought of God forever.

And of course, we have the very Word of God to explore and to discover Him in – a Word that is living and active. Hebrews 11 says that Moses lived “as seeing Him who is invisible” – how do we see Him who is invisible? By looking to the image of the invisible God – Jesus Christ.

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
(John 14:8-9 ESV)

Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the only way to God, and to understanding the mind of God. Not philosophy, not science (though those things are enlightening and can tell us about how our world works), but an experience of the person of Jesus Christ is what brings us to God. What experience in particular? The cross tells us so much more about God than science ever could hope to. Because there God’s love is revealed – He gave His blameless, innocent, Son to die in the place of people who deserved the punishment – that’s you and me and the whole world. And if you have an experience of Jesus Christ at Calvary, see Him dying there for you and believe, you’ll be changed forever by that experience.

Like Blaise Pascal.

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