Saturday, April 04, 2015

What's Light Got to Do With It?

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ is a mystery
 of light
and life
and love.

The Shroud of Turin witnesses to the mystery of His True Light.

Source: Huffington Post

The empty tomb witnesses to the mystery of His Glorified Life.

Source: Yahoo

The first encounter (prior to sunrise)
with St. Mary Magdalene witnesses to the mystery
of  His Abiding Love.

Detail from Noli Me Tangere by Giotto di

He is risen!


A kindred voice
in the wilderness:

Lifting the Lid
“God in a shoe Box: Lifting the Lid”

The concept of this series of short talks grew from ideas that passed through my mind late at night while reflecting on daily and local news reports. I had for some time been concerned that Christianity, as modeled today in the affluent Western Church living in its ‘comfort zone lifestyle’, may be unduly influenced by science and the discoveries of the technologically driven world in which it lives.

This is of course over simplistic in its raw state but it did make me think, was there a spin off from our expanding scientific and technological achievements that might be limiting the way we view God and how we live before him in the world he created for us.

Daily we see news reports of discoveries that expand our knowledge of the universe-time-space reality in which we live. There is a saying that goes like this;

“He-she could not see the forest for the trees, or he–she could not see the word for the trees.”

The point of the simile is that the observer is so focused on one small part of the picture before them that they cannot see the overall forest that was presented before them.

As great as science is today, and necessary for many areas of daily life, is it possible that by concentrating on one aspect or that latest discovery are we inadvertently limiting the scope of our view of God, particularly in the case of the non-religious or atheistic persons who have little or no aspect of God consciousness as a reference through which they can evaluate these scientific discoveries.

For many science and technology define life, health, self-worth and their reality. The recent suicides, as tragic as these are, of local and overseas ‘stars’ who seem to have achieved so much must surely have us asking the question; “if achievement defines success them why is success itself not enough to meet the inner needs of mankind.”

I would like to examine six laws of science and explore the effects that these might have on our and the world’s view of God, his person, nature, character and purposes in the world in which we live.

However there are some things we need to note on the way:
  • This is not an anti-science bash by a frustrated science student
  • All knowledge [science included] is a gift from God to man
  • Along the way we use should read truth out of the Bible and not into it
  • All of the Laws we will discuss were brought to us by God believing Christ worshiping Christians

1. E=mc2 – And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ => New Reality
2. Perpetual Motion: Ei => [Ew] <= Eo => Eternity
3. Conservation of Matter => New Heaven & New Earth
4. Warp Speed: => New Mission
5. Conservation of Energy: Ei + Eii = Et => New Faith
6. 2nd Law Thermodynamics: =>New Shoes

The above topics are fluid and as we look at each one we will discover inter-related points at which each affect the other.

The question we need to ask ourselves is ‘is science the idol of the modern world today?’ If so do we worship it rather than the Triune God who establishes the reality in which we live and move and have our being?

Does the use of - acceptance of science in our life affect our relationship with God? That is, is our view of God and his work in this world limited by our understanding and interpretation of the laws of science?

We have already looked at E=mcand derived from it a perspective of Jesus Christ that might not otherwise have been readily seen.

Tonight, briefly, I hope to look at the concept of ‘Perpetual Motion’ and its place in the world view of the secular person and Christian alike.

Perpetual Motion
“God in a shoe Box: Perpetual Motion”

Discerning God:

Today science launched itself into the 21st century at the CERN laboratories Large Hadron Collider accelerator in an attempt to define the beginnings of the universe, life and our existence.

The ‘Independent Scientist’ asked Andy McSmith at CERN: What does it all mean – in 35 words

Today is the most exciting day of my life at CERN so far, but I expect more excitement when the LHC starts discovering things. Maybe the Higgs boson (i.e., the God particle)? Maybe supersymmetry? Maybe black holes? Who knows?

What will this experiment do for Mr and Mrs Ordinary?

Ever since recorded history people have between wanting to understand the universe around them. This is a basic human urge, and it's useful. Nobody thought Einstein's Theory of Relativity had a use when it was first expounded, but you can't operate a satnav without it. I don't know what the LHC is going to find – how can you know? – but it's going to be useful.

What is the Christian to make of this, should we be interested in the CERN experiment and if so how do we relate to it in our faith?

Is it a valid thing to talk about science in worship – church service? If we were to do so might we not be in danger of becoming ‘liberal’ in the sense of a church culture where sermons are driven by articles and reports in our local and national news papers?

The people at CERN see their work as relevant to gaining knowledge and the ‘human urge’ for understanding the universe around them, and thus, by implication, their place in the world and society.

However the Bible tells us in many places that the things of God, his activity in Creation and purposes mankind are his domain, Isaiah 55:8-9. Yet in Ecclesiastics 8:16 to 17 Solomon writes about man’s endeavors to discover the things of God and the limitations God has set to that knowledge.

What are we to make of this? Is there any reason why science should peruse gaining knowledge of our world, universe and existence?

The answer is yes!

God delights in his people seeking after him and the knowledge of their being and place in the world and universe.

John Kepler writes that Psalm 8, 19 and 50 set him on a course of discovery ‘thinking God’s thoughts after him.’

Wayne Grudem writes: ‘God’s providence provides the basis for science: God has made and continues to sustain the universe that acts in predictable ways.—the doctrine of the providence of God also provides the basis for technology’ Gal 1:16, Heb 1:2-3

Millard J, Erickson writes: ‘In earlier periods most people believed in God. His activity was thought to be the explanation for the existence of the world and of what goes on within it, and he was the solver of problems which humans faced. Today, however, people put their trust in the visible, the here and now, and in explanations which do not assume any transcendent or supernatural entities.

This different outlook came about through several channels. One was the growth of scientific explanations. 

Whereas previously it seemed necessary to believe in some supernatural being or force that had brought this complex universe into existence, alternate explanations now are available.”

Therefore it is appropriate that we look at science today, and how it might affect our view of God, Faith and the world in which we live.

Think about the following statement.

‘Science should define our understanding of God not God define our understanding of science.”
To the Christian it is obviously wrong, but to many in the world today it reads correct, or at least is the tangible philosophy upon which they base their worldview.

How do we, as Christians, assimilate the knowledge that science brings to us? What are we to do with the CERN EXPERIMENT?

To help answer this question the series “God in a Shoe Box’ was born which seeks to look at science and the Christian faith to see how we as Christians and The Church of Jesus Christ on earth can relate to our science and technology driven world.

We could ask the question, do we have a truncated view of God as a result of the information and knowledge that is constantly presented to us in our technology and science driven western society?
However before we do so I need to bring a note of caution.

Many of the Laws [scientific] that we will look at in this series have come to us through the work of Christian (or God worshiping) scientists such as Galileo, DiVinci, Newton, Pascal, Einstein, etc. They were on a mission of discovery and saw science as a way of revealing the glory of God, of opening their minds to the wonder and awe of God who created the universe and reality in which they lived.

The issue for them was the discovery of God’s hand in creation and their scientific view of our world did not limit their view of God.

However that may not be the situation we face today, in the 21st century church, public and society?

Some weeks ago we looked at ‘Light’ and had some discussion on the equation E=mc2. This led us to realize that not only is our spiritual life dependent upon God, namely Jesus Christ, but that the world in which we live was also sustained in its relative physical relativity by the same God, in the person of Jesus Christ, Isaiah 44:24, 45:12, 1Cor 8:6, Eph 3:9.

Colossians 1:16-17 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.

Today I would like to deal with the second topic; Perpetual motion, an issue that has far reaching affects in the life of the church and our culture.

Perpetual Motion: God in Action

Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

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