Venice Time

December 20th, 2012
Marla on Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Time in Motion

Our Italian doctor in Milan is fond of making the assertion, “Let’s look at the science.” Similarly, like a good scientist, Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, Stephen Hawking, in his book: A Brief History of Time, after laboring for ten chapters with the science, offers this startling conclusion: The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the question of why there should be a universe to describe”. He then goes on to posit further, “Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?” (174). These questions are telling, especially after Hawking began his book, “And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in” (13).
The Christian worldview has an appreciation for “the science.” But, it also realizes that to describe the universe from inside the universe can be precarious. In other words, not all secrets of the universe are given up at Cambridge or Princeton or MIT. To the Christian worldview, there is information which places the Lord outside the jurisdiction of the universe. Do we understand this? Reference Colossians 1:17, for example, where Christ is referred to as, sunesteken, in Paul’s Greek. This is translated, “…in him all things hold together (ESV). Hawking allows Guth to explain a GUT (grand unified theory) (see chapter 8, The Origin and Fate of the Universe):

Clocktower on Island of Murano in Venice, Italy

Ventian Clocktower

“In an attempt to find a model of the universe in which many different initial configurations could have evolved to something like the present universe, a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Alan Guth, suggested that the early universe might have gone through a period of very rapid expansion. This expansion is said to be “inflationary,” meaning that the universe at one time expanded at an increasing rate rather than the decreasing rate that is does today” (127). The Christian portrayal of a GUT must involve the Hebrews 1:3 data, which places the ultimate source of energy and dynamics outside the system.

Island of Murano, Venice, Italy

Isle of Murano

Now, when it comes to appreciating the above information, we are at once confronted with the ramifications to prayer. The God who answers prayer, being outside of the system per se, and yet concerned with the interior, is able to deliver (Ephesians 3:14-21). A second reason for relevance in these matters about a theology of Christ involves how the Lord is able to enter history. Throughout the biblical text there are invitations for participation in this, The Greatest Story Ever Told.
So, we give thanks today for solar physics and biological thriving (a biology and physics of Genesis); for gravitational force (attraction); and for atomic stability (coherence). This is My Father’s World!