Tuesday, May 15, 2018


The feelings of awe should salt to our daily lives, as they had for Albert Einstein:

·       The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness. (The Merging of Spirit and Science)

Beauty should provoke wonder and meditation. For Einstein, the creation did just that. However, Einstein was like a child who received a precious gift and threw away the attached card, indicating the identity of the Sender. Einstein realized that the creation represented “the highest wisdom.” However, he seems to have stopped short of probing the question of “Whose wisdom?” Instead, he wrote:

·       I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (1954)

·       I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.

A personal God is one of consciousness, intelligence, will, emotion, and moral concern – not a mere energy force like gravity. While gravity is also awesome, gravity is very limited in what it can do. It can’t write a poem, cook an omelet, create an atom or even an electron, answer my questions, or even be conscious of me, let alone my prayers and tears.

An impersonal god is less than we are. It cannot hear, see, think, care about anyone, let alone create this awesome universe. How then could Einstein credit to a mindless force the origin and sustenance of this glorious universe?

In the Apostle Paul’s disputation with the Athenian philosophers, he had reasoned about the insufficiency of their gods, however many they might have had:

·       The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.  And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,  for “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we are indeed his offspring.” Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. (Acts 17:24-29)

Whomever God is, He must be able to account for all that had sent Einstein into his raptures. Foolishly, the Greek philosopher had ascribed these things to their statues. Spinoza’s god was not created by human hands, but it is equally insufficient to account for what had filled Einstein with awe.

Einstein had received a precious gift, but this brilliant mind credited a mindless and uncaring force like gravity. Why? Einstein didn’t like the idea of a personal God, “a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.” Why not? If we are concerned about love, justice, and eliminating rape and genocide, wouldn’t it be more satisfying and harmonious to think that our Creator is also concerned about these things? Not if it means that He might judge and condemn us!

Did Einstein partake of these fears? The Bible claims that we are all wired with them:

·       Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:32)

The fact that we know these truths is manifestly obvious. Whenever we have done something wrong, we try to justify ourselves. This reflects the fact that we are aware of these imprinted moral laws and respond profoundly to them.

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of humankind believes is some form of god. However, this god is increasingly regarded as amoral. It is interesting that as society becomes more permissive, so too must our gods adjust to our changing lifestyles.

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