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Catechism Buzz: Incalculable Wonders

18 April 2011 by Neil

Q. 15. What is the work of creation?
A. The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of his power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for himself, within the space of six days, and all very good.

Q. 16. How did God create angels?
A. God created all the angels spirits, immortal, holy, excelling in knowledge, mighty in power, to execute his commandments, and to praise his name, yet subject to change.

Q. 17. How did God create man?
A. After God had made all other creatures, he created man male and female; formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground, and the woman of the rib of the man, endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls; made them after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it, and dominion over the creatures; yet subject to fall.

The great enterprise of man to unravel the secrets of the universe (Proverbs 25:2-4) is fascinating, but perplexing. As we delve deeper, we find unanticipated complexities instead of clarity. Consider:
  • The world of atoms and photons would be mind-bending to an 18th century thinker, and frankly... ridiculous.
  • The spooky strangeness of quantum mechanics freaked out Einstein, and for years he told his peers that this nonsensical mess just couldn’t be.
  • Many smart eggheads think that everything at the very base is composed of vibrating strings. In order for string theories to be coherent there must exist at least six hidden dimensions, and they must be oriented with each other just so, and one-dimensional strings must perform a perpetual belly dance in all these dimensions, and their two-dimensional membrane cousins and their three and four and five dimensional N-brane cousins must do likewise. This may all very well be true, but it is bogglingly complex.
  • When it comes to size, a string is to a proton as an atom is to the solar system. Ponder that when you be grindin' your coffee beans.
  • Einstein's experimentally confirmed Relativity theories say that everything you intuitively know about Time is dead wrong.  You're just too slow to figure that out.
  • The trajectories of interplanetary space probes obey the physics of Newton and Einstein... mostly. But like both me and my children, they rebel in subtle ways. The "Pioneer Anomaly" is a term that describes the probes' slight but very real non-compliance with the inviolable rules of General Relativity. No human can yet explain this.
The more we peel the layers, the bigger the blasted artichoke becomes, and the more complex the architecture.  The world has a structure so vast and odd and so macro and micro that the best minds and computers will still be nowhere close to describing it when your great-grandchildren are windsurfing on Mars.

But can we at least explain the broad strokes of how this reality came to be? My atheist, naturalist chums start out by excluding the possibility of a Creator, then they make some empirical observations, then they extrapolate backwards to conclude that a teensy universe germ spontaneously popped into being due to a quantum fluctuation in the pre-existing pre-universe quantum nothingness (also known as the multiverse... where did that come from, eh?), inflated phantasmagorically fast, and then changed over eons.  By contrast, my Bible believing friends say that God did it all, in six days.

Six days of creation?  Piece of cake for God.  God says he designed and created the universe for his glory, and he designed and created earth specifically for life, and especially for the human beings created in the very image of God. God operated by active design and fiat. God is the Creator. He is not only powerful, but he is the Power that powers all Creation at this very moment (Colossians 1:16-17)

A fraction of a nano-second for "nothing" to build the universe's bizarre fabric and unassailable physics and then thirteen point six billion years to roll down the hill of potential energy until we pop out of the goo?  Keep on dreaming.  You may as well make it nine hundred trillion...squared.  The atheist/naturalist is in fact no kind of empiricist at all. If everything came from nothing, then the atheist/naturalist is operating sola fide. And such a strong faith! They live it and they proselytize it. They show their faith by their works!  But Romans 1:19-20 tells us that the Christian that looks around and believes that God means what he says in the Bible is the best sort of empiricist.    

So then... why is it that on the whole we do not live as if we serve an God of incalculable wonders, and as if we were not created in God's own image for his glory?  Why is it so easy for serving our saviour to become a daily ho-hum for us?  The atheist has much to teach us about producing works in keeping with our faith.