23rd July 2012

A Matter Of Faith

“But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”
Hebrews 1:2 (NIV)

Mankind seems to have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and understanding of the material world. We send out probes and build various types of telescopes to investigate the deep recesses of outer space. Other instruments, like the Large Hadron Collider, search for the most fundamental particles of matter including the hypothetical elementary particle, the so-called ‘god particle’, predicted by the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

But what about God himself? The existence of God cannot be detected by scientific instruments, or proven by examination of the natural world or through secular logic. Unlike the ‘god particle’, the hypothetical possibility of the existence of God cannot be predicted from mathematical equations and models.

But it is equally true that these same criteria cannot be used to prove the non-existence of God. It therefore boils down to faith. The believer has faith there is a God and the atheist has faith there is no God.

Although the theoretical physics associated with the origin and evolution of the universe may be too complex for the average lay person, it is interesting to note some of the more philosophical assumptions currently made about the nature of these physical laws. The physicist and cosmologist, Paul Davies, wrote in his book The Goldilocks Enigma, Why Is The Universe Just Right for Life? (page 266), “Most theoretical physicists are Platonists in the way they conceptualise the laws of physics, as precise mathematical relationships possessing a real, independent existence which nevertheless transcends the physical universe.”

It seems that both Christians and most theoretical physicists accept that there is a reality that is independent of and transcends the physical universe.  Whether we restrict what transcends the universe to the laws of physics or believe it to be something far more personal and comprehensive, called God, who brought the universe into being, is also a matter of faith. As the author of the book of Hebrews writes, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)

God is not a theorem that can be proved or disproved by scientific enquiry. At the core of Christianity is faith in God, brought about by God’s self revelation through the Holy Spirit, and deepened by personal experience and a relationship with him through Jesus Christ.

Father in heaven, we thank you that you have brought this universe into being, including all life, and have called us through faith to know and have a relationship with you through Jesus Christ.

Study by Eddie Marsh

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