Friday, December 08, 2006

Einstein & a personal God

We read in 1 Corinthians 2.6-16 that a message of wisdom is spoken among the mature or spiritual. But this sort of wisdom remains a mystery to those without the Spirit, regardless their genius.

Albert Einstein knew something about mystery and considered himself to be a deeply religious man. We are told that he came to this position through his deep sense of the incomprehensible mystery in which he thought the cosmos was implanted. As far as we know, Einstein also looked favorably on the ethical teachings of Jesus and the prophets. However, he considered belief in a personal God to be the main obstacle to the reconciliation of science and religion. What do you think? Is belief in a personal God compatible with a scientific understanding of the world?

The Apostle Paul informs us that a person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God (2.14). So how is it that a human being, even an unscientific one, can know the wisdom of God? How can a person make such a high and exalted claim as to know the very mind of God, specifically, to have the mind of Christ (16b)?

In other words, how does the Spirit work? How does He impart this wisdom, this mind, to humankind? We are told that the Spirit's activity is an action of inward illumination (vv. 10, 13). That is, a person's natural, spiritual blindness is removed, the veil is taken from the eyes of their heart, their pride & their prejudice are alike broken down, & they’re given an understanding of spiritual realities.

The wisdom of God would have never been discovered by scientific investigation alone. Further, without the Spirit’s intervention, it would have never occurred to Einstein that God was (and is) personal. For as verse 7 says, it’s a "secret & hidden wisdom," or it’s a wisdom "in a mystery & concealed." So the only way for anyone to know it is for God to reveal it. Revelation is the act of God whereby what once was concealed from us is now made known to us.

Paul tells us something about this process in vv 10–13. He uses an analogy: among humankind a person's thoughts & concerns are only known to the spirit of that person. And only if he wills can another person become privy to what those thoughts & concerns are. If one desires one can reveal his thoughts. So it is with God: no one knows God’s mind except God’s own Spirit. But God has willed to impart God’s wisdom by his Spirit.

Consequently, it is not belief in a personal God that stands as the main obstacle to the reconciliation of science and religion. It is unbelief! After all without faith in a personal God (revealed by and through the Spirit in the Person and work of Jesus Christ) no one can even begin to plum the elements of compatibility between religious truth and a scientific understanding of the world?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thanks for this mornings "Bible study" and for the word here on the net.