Summary: Faith is seeing the invisible.
The Physics of Faith: Seeing the Invisible
Pastor Mark Batterson
This evotional continues our Physics of Faith series. If you’d like to check out an old evotional, visit the evotional archive @ www.theaterchurch.com. And feel free to forward to a friend.
Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “A mind stretched by a new idea never returns to its original shape.” This series is about juxtaposing physics and faith. And my hope is this: that the physics will stretch your faith and faith will stretch your physics.
The God of Randomness
In his book, Can a Smart Person Believe in God, Michael Guillen says there are two kinds of people in the world: those who believe in God and those who believe in something else. He makes what I think is a valid point: everybody believes in something. We just have different objects of faith. Most people who don’t believe in the God of the Bible believe in what Michael Guillen calls the god of randomness.
It boils down to this. We only have two causalogical options: either we put our faith in the god of random chance or we put our faith in the God of intelligent design.
Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command.” It takes faith to believe in the existence of God. You can’t prove or disprove the existence of God.
It takes faith to believe in the God of Intelligent Design. But it also takes faith to believe in the god of random chance. In fact, I think it takes more faith.
I love the way astronomer, Sir Fred Hoyle, said it to the British Academy of Science years ago. He said, “Let’s be scientifically honest. The probability of life arising to greater and greater complexity by chance through evolution is the same probability as having a tornado tear through a junkyard and form a Boeing 747 jetliner.”
Hoyle calculated the chances of life being the result of random chance as being 1 in 1040,000.
I think sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that religion involves faith and science doesn’t. The truth is that everybody puts their faith in something they can’t prove.
Bertrand Russell, who was an outspoken opponent of Christian thought, once said that faith “a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence.” That’s a terrible definition of faith. I’ll be the first person to admit that faith isn’t logical or rational. But it’s not illogical or irrational either. Faith is super-logical and super-rational. In other words, it often appears illogical or irrational because it goes beyond human logic and rationale.
Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.”
Right now you have no sensation of motion, but you are sitting on a planet that is spinning at approximately 1,000 mph. Planet earth will make one full rotation in the next twenty-four hours. Not only that, you’re traveling through space at approximately 67,000 mph. Before the day is done, you will travel 1.3 million miles in your annual trek around the sun. And you didn’t have any big plans for today! The next time someone asks you, “What did you do today?” Tell them you’re a little tired because you just traveled 1.3 million miles in a single day!
Now let me ask you a question: when was the last time you thanked God for keeping us in orbit? Probably never! Why? Because we take constants for granted! None of us get to the end of the day and pray, “God, thanks for helping us make the full rotation today! I wasn’t sure we’d make it. You had me nervous, but you did it again.”
Here is the problem with God: He is so good at what he does that we tend to take Him for granted. He is so faithful. He is so powerful. He is so loving. He is so wise. God is the ultimate constant so we tend to take Him for granted.
I know people who would say that they’ve never experienced a miracle. I respectively beg to differ. I think we experience unbelievable miracles everyday. The irony is that we believe God for the big things like keeping us in orbit, but we have a tough time believing him for the small stuff!
John Donne said, “There is nothing that God hath established in the constant course of Nature, and which therefore is done everyday, but would seem a miracle, and exercise admiration, if it were done but once.”
Here’s a thought: our lives are utterly dependent upon things we can’t see and don’t understand.
This week, part of our team flew to Arizona. We’re one of ten multi-site churches from across the country that gets together twice a year to discuss and dream about doing church in more than one location. On our trip there we hit some turbulence. To be perfectly honest, it made me a little nervous! And I made the mistake of looking out the window at the wing! And I’ll tell you exactly what I thought. “I wonder how that thing stays attached.”