God is physics or physics is god, which one is it? The purpose of God is to create everything. The purpose of physics is to explain how everything was created. When God created everything he established immutable laws to govern nature. The purpose of physics is to not only codify those laws, but to provide an understanding of how those laws operate in the universe. If this is true then there is no conflict between physics and God. That which God does, physics explains.
The apparent conflict between God and physics stems from the fact that evangelical Christianity is basically irrational. Now, that doesn’t mean that Christianity is not true, nor does it mean that salvation is empty. Where Christians run into trouble with physics is when Christians attempt to lock God into the Bible rather than seeing God in the context of a larger expansive universe or even multiple universes.
Christians who champion ideas such as a 6,000 year old universe are irrational. Science, using physics to explain the process by which God brought the universe into existence, has demonstrated rationally and logically that the universe is much much older than 6,000 years. In fact, the universe is billions and billions of years old. And the universe is much much larger anything here on earth. This is a rational, logical conclusion based on fact.
The Bible, it must be understood, is a book of stories, myths, and value laden guidance provided to the world at a specific time to a specific people for a specific purpose. When we attempt to apply every fact in the Bible as absolute truth and absolute law, we violate any sense of rationality. The belief in the in salability of an interpretive imperfect text violets any sense of rationality. Clinging to the idea that every word in the Bible is the word of God inerrant is to imprison God within a book. It is to limit the reach of God to our own parochial understanding of the universe. It is to do the world―and all the worlds that may be, that are yet to be discovered―a disservice, because it limits God to a specific place and time in history. God is the God of the universe, in fact, all the universes that are, have been, or will be.
The Bible that we have today is a result of man’s natural desire to explain his existence and the existence of everything. And as such it reflects as much about man as it does about God. It reflects our understanding of God and tries to explain it within the context of the time and place in which it was compiled. That does not mean that the Bible is any less valid in providing an understanding of God or Jesus for the historical context in which the texts in the Bible were written.
The concepts, the values, and the historical narrative remain of value as a way of understanding our relationship to God and his son, Jesus Christ. But we must understand that it isn’t the end all in our understanding of the world and the universe in which we exist. The Bible is the starting point and it must be viewed as such. God has given us the ability to understand the world and the universe and the laws that govern it. Physics provides us with an understanding and definition of the laws of the universe, the universe that God created.
Christians must understand as they try to bring others to Christ, that the very people they are trying to bring to Christ they may be driving off by their irrational, unquestioning devotion to a literal interpretation of the Bible and limited world vision. In order to save the world, in fact, to potentially save all worlds, Christians must understand that the people who they are trying to save are rational beings and will not accept an irrational message. It is not enough to say that this or that happened because it is a mystery, nor is it enough to say that one must just believe because one must believe. I believe they are too smart for that. They are too much of the world. They are rational beings and will not accept an irrational message. Physics provides the rational, logical answer to how the world began and how the universe formed. God provides the answer as to why the earth was created and why the universe exists.
© Copyright 2014 by Kevin Fraleigh.