Tag Archives: Intelligent Design

THE SPEED OF LIGHT AND SPIRITUAL LAWS

642736_76463569Einstein famously said, “God doesn’t play with dice.” Observers of our created universe note predictable patterns that govern the motion of physical matter. Over time, scientists test hypotheses and develop theories. Theories, given enough testing and widespread acceptance, become laws.

There are a variety of fundamental scientific laws / principles that have been discovered, and they often bear the names of the human discoverers. Naturally, as a Christian I believe that the creator of these laws is Yahweh himself, who through his wisdom established every aspect of the physical reality we inhabit (Proverbs 3:19).

Here are a few examples of scientific laws:

Newton’s First Law of Motion: The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force.

Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics: If two systems are in thermal equilibrium with a third system, they are also in thermal equilibrium with each other.

Einstein’s Principal of the Constancy of the Speed of Light: The speed of light in a vacuum is a universal physical constant.

These scientific laws appear to accurately and predictably describe how our physical universe operates and will continue to operate. Proponents of multiverse theories argue that such laws may be totally different in other universes. The speed of light may not be 299,792,458 meters per second in another universe. With an infinite number of universes, the argument goes, we just happen to be in one with an essentially randomized speed of light. Now, I am not convinced as to the existence of a parallel physical universe, but I do believe in a parallel spiritual reality.

For whatever reason, God actualized a universe (the physical reality we live in) in which we observe the speed of light as indeed being 299,792,456 meters per second. Like it or not, that is just the way it is. You can’t change the facts. This may even be an inconvenient truth, because no matter how much I would like to fly a spaceship to Polaris, it would take me 434 years if I could somehow travel at light speed. I could never arrive sooner. Warp drives don’t exist.

What many people do not realize is that there are spiritual laws in place that govern our spiritual reality just like scientific laws govern our physical reality. Regardless of our opinions, beliefs, understanding, or desires, they remain true and timeless. One such spiritual law is as follows:

“… without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22b)

Many people do not understand the atonement. ‘Wait… why did Jesus have to die to forgive our sins? He’s God, right? Can’t he just snap his fingers and make everything better? Why are Christians so obsessed with the blood of Christ?’ In fact, many lay Christians do not know that there are many competing and intersecting theories of atonement debated in theological circles about what the sacrifice of Christ accomplished. Regardless of all that, there seems to be a very real spiritual constant in much the same way that the speed of light in a vacuum is a physical constant. Sin can never be forgiven unless blood is shed. This is a spiritual law, presumably established as a wise design decision of God, which predates any of us and cannot be altered. No human can use a spiritual warp drive to shortcut this unavoidable fact about their sinfulness.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” (Leviticus 17:11)

GENERAL REVELATION / NATURAL THEOLOGY

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In a previous post I argued that revelation is more accurately described as apocalypse – an unveiling or uncovering of divine reality. However, that would best describe what theologians call Special Revelation. General Revelation and Natural Theology are not quite examples of tearing away a supernatural veil but rather the lingering fingerprints of divine handiwork in creation – both within the material universe and our individual selves.

Natural Theology refers to the beliefs that we can arrive at by observing aspects of General Revelation and using human reason (logic) to attach meaning to those observations. These evidences are theoretically available to all people everywhere.

General Revelation can be divided into two categories: internal and external:

Internal evidences of the existence of God and his attributes include logical deductions (e.g., there must be an uncaused cause) and innate beliefs. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God has “set eternity” into human hearts. Various theologians speak of an ‘innate sense of the divine’ within us. C.S. Lewis famously argued in favor of an inherent moral conscience in his book ‘Mere Christianity.’ If somebody accidentally trips you, you will feel far less animosity than if that person tripped you on purpose, even though the end result is identical. There seems to be an untaught, intuitive sense of justice / injustice within us. Even depraved individuals with seared consciences (1 Timothy 4:2) understand when something is unfair to them – far beyond a sense of inconvenience or survival instinct.

External evidences include the witness of creation, which leads to the belief in the necessity of a Creator, as purported by Intelligent Design theory. Psalm 19:1 tells us that “the heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of his hands.” Romans 1:19-20 says, “that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

However, the effects of sin have so greatly tarnished humanity, including human reason and moral conscience, that we find General Revelation not being sufficient in leading somebody into a salvific relationship. As Romans 1:21 continues, “they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” General Revelation alone will never lead somebody to accurate conclusions about the incarnation of Jesus Christ nor the atonement. We desperately need God to pull back the veil and reveal himself to us in a special fashion, whether we realize it or not.

Acts 17:26-17, 30: “and he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us … Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent…”