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I think it was Mark Twain who said, “Faith is believing what you know ain't so."
We who believe in God are often criticized by atheists and agnostics for believing things that common sense tells us just “ain’t so.” Reality is reflected in what you can prove to be true, not in nebulous ideas that logically don’t add up: For example, the idea that God is three persons in one.
That used to be so, but beginning with Albert Einstein, scientists have gotten used to the idea that they must accept a reality of things that common sense tells them “ain’t so.”
Albert Einstein has always been a fascinating personality to me. More than a hundred years ago, he wrote a paper describing a radical insight into the nature of light. Einstein challenged the accepted ideas of physics, and pioneered the development of quantum physics that turned the scientific world upside down.
As we continue to probe deeper into the nature of the physical world–from the immensity of the Universe to the intricacies inside the atom–we are confronted with facts and phenomena that defy common sense.
Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist has written, “Quantum physics is a new model of reality that gives us a picture of the universe. It is a picture in which many concepts fundamental to our intuitive understanding of reality no longer have meaning” (The Grand Design).
Einstein showed that being scientific doesn’t mean making everything understandable with absolute certainty. Today, research shows us that we must accept the reality of things that just “ain’t so.”
I find this a fascinating topic to explore. When I see what paradoxes exist in nature, it is not so difficult for me to accept that the nature of the “Creator of light” would also seem–to my limited human understanding–also somewhat paradoxical.
So it is not only scientists that owe Einstein a debt of gratitude for his insights. Theologians can also learn from him. In theology we stand before a reality that far exceeds our understanding.
Christian theology is not unscientific and science does not and cannot rule out a reality greater than ourselves, or greater than our universe. As Einstein wrote, “Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe–a spirit vastly superior to man, and one in the face of which our modest powers must feel humble."
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.