Friday, December 30, 2011

The God Particle

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:03, NKJV).
How did the "primitive and unscientific" writer of Hebrews know that subatomic particles exist? How did he know some 2000 years before the latest particle accelerator went operational in Europe?

Recent media attention has been paid to the search for the elusive "God Particle", that thing which gives all other subatomic particles mass, and without which neither matter nor energy would exist, hence the rather presumptuous name.

A few years before, physicists were excited by the search for the so-called gluon particle, that mysterious entity that was supposed to hold all the rest of the universe together.

Operational science is one of the most useful studies known to mankind. Through it, the human race has advanced in knowledge and technological abilities quite rapidly, especially in the last few generations, when we have gone from horse-and-buggy to interplanetary and extrasolar exploration. We have also progressed from geographic isolation to worldwide network connectivity, from telegraph to satellite phones, and so on.

Popular media loves to paint Christianity as anti-science, primarily over one facet of study: origins. But in reality, it was Christian scientists who began the scientific revolution, who studied the world because they believed its Creator was real, knowable, and a lover of order and logic.

Even today, unbelieving but honest scientists have penned surprisingly spiritual odes to the wonders and incredible complexities of the universe, and by their study have come right up against the idea of Design and Creator, without having whatever it takes to go beyond their worldly presuppositions into the realm of the true Reality behind reality. 

Hence the overhyped search for the "God Particle" - reduce the Creator and Sustainer to a thing, and then you can have a few more nights of sleep untroubled by the nagging suspicion that there is more to everything than mere science can ever know.

Whatever the physical manifestation, the substance and evidence of faith teaches this ineffable truth: the worlds were framed by the word of God.

God spoke and other than Himself began to exist.

Think about what that means for just a second and be awed.

Our self-existent God, utterly complete and all-powerful, uttered the Universe into existence. He used words to manifest His incomprehensible creativity and, with seemingly very little effort, formed out of absolutely nothing, absolutely everything… except Himself.

He spoke light and energy and matter into causality. He spoke all the laws of physics, thermodynamics, mathematics, and biology into reality.

And He did so for the express purpose of making for us, His ultimate creation, a place to be and grow and live and enter into relationship with Him.

That is what faith teaches, and whatever else this God Particle may be, underpinning its function and purpose is, very simply, the Word of God.

I cannot conceive of a more effective presentation of God's divine attributes, His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, than to have these encapsulated in these three reality-making words: "And God said…".

Consider all the human and natural demonstrations of power in whatever form you choose: dictatorships, presidents, hurricanes, volcanoes, tsunamis, nuclear detonations, etc. Each require whole systems of interrelated components in a preexisting configuration in order to achieve anything. Rulers require nations and infrastructure, nature requires climatology, hydrology and the physical realm. Weapons of mass destruction require science and technology, and all the foundations upon which these are built.

But only a Being of all-conceivable power could speak into the nothingness and by His very words not only move all heaven and earth, but create them in the first place.

Why choose words rather than gestures or something else?

I can think of three possible reasons, none of which are exhaustive, and all of which are speculative, for in the end, God chooses simply because God chooses.

Nevertheless, His creative power manifested in and by words instantly and intimately unites Him with the only elements of His Creation made in His image: us.

Words are what differentiate human beings from everything else. We are the only living creatures we know of who would understand even the concept of verbal and written communication, let alone the content of the communication.

Secondly, impersonal force and the use of words are oxymorons. It is unimaginable for mere energy to communicate in anyway. Nuclear explosions do not speak. There would have to be a controlling intelligence behind the use of words, and by definition, intelligence requires personhood.

And finally, there is nothing more representative of sovereign power than a command immediately and inalterably obeyed. As a symbol of divine authority, the Creation account is unmatched by any conceivable alternative.

God needed neither machinery, nor matter, nor energy, nor infrastructure, nor wealth, nor institutions of knowledge, nor anything else… but Himself.

God said… and it was so.