“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit….”
Matthew 28:18-19 (NIV UK)
It was Mark Twain who said, “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” We who believe in God are often criticised by atheists and agnostics for believing things that common sense tells us just “ain’t so.” Reality is reflected in what you can prove to be true, not in nebulous ideas that logically don’t add up: For example, the idea that God is three persons in one.
That used to be so, but beginning with Albert Einstein, scientists have become used to the idea that they must accept a reality of things which common sense tells them “ain’t so.”
Albert Einstein has always fascinated me. Over a hundred years ago, he described a radical insight into the nature of light. He challenged accepted ideas of physics, and pioneered the development of quantum physics which turned the scientific world upside down.
As we continue to probe deeper into the nature of the physical world—from the immensity of the Universe to the intricacies inside the atom—we are confronted with facts and phenomena that defy common sense. Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist has written, “Quantum physics is a new model of reality that gives us a picture of the universe. It is a picture in which many concepts fundamental to our intuitive understanding of reality no longer have meaning” (The Grand Design).
Einstein showed that being scientific doesn’t mean making everything understandable with absolute certainty. Today research shows us that we must accept the reality of things that just “ain’t so.”
I find this fascinating. When I see what paradoxes exist in nature, it’s not so difficult for me to accept that the nature of the “Creator of light” would also seem—to my limited human understanding—also somewhat paradoxical.
So it is not only scientists who owe Einstein a debt of gratitude for his insights. Theologians can also learn from him. In theology we stand before a reality that far exceeds our understanding.
Christian theology isn’t unscientific and science doesn’t and cannot rule out a reality greater than ourselves, or greater than our universe. As Einstein wrote, “Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe—a spirit vastly superior to man, and one in the face of which our modest powers must feel humble.”
Holy Father, we human beings, your children, view everything from our own standpoint. Anything different is difficult, especially in this so-called scientific age. Give us, please, a wider perspective on this world you have given to us, so that, in the end, we can clearly see you and your hand in everything. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
__________________________________________________About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.