Theoretical physicists and quantum physicists are some of the scientists who attempt to pull back the veil and peak into the unknowable. In the Old Testament, that was the role of prophets. What I’m calling the unknowable, could probably be better phrased. Unknowable is not a good word here. What might be a better way to say it is to say that these people, seated in our four-dimensional world, are attempting to peer into the fifth dimension and beyond using the limited tools we have at our disposal. It is clear to me that the creator, through the Holy Spirit, is constantly broadcasting truth, inspiration which some are able to capture with our imagination, mind, and spiritual gifting. Some are aware of this source outside of ourselves, while others believe they are themselves the source. And some even believe that they are making up thoughts through random or deterministic firings of the neurons in their brains.
Remember the Flat-landers living in their two-dimensional world? (see Dimensions 1 – Heavenly Coordinates ) They were experiencing another world having a third dimension, and were incapable of conceiving it with their limited abilities and understanding. In the same way, we are at a loss when conceiving of other worlds, other dimensions beyond ours. God is a case in point. We experience him only in limited ways, and only a few are able to believe. Believe in what? Believe in the invisible, untouchable, almost unknowable. That is why Jesus had to take flesh. The Kingdom (the supernatural, other-dimensional world) was then actually here. In other words, the realm of the supernatural world and our natural world (having three dimensions of space – width x height x depth or x,y,z coordinates – plus the fourth dimension of time) were at last co-existing in the being of Jesus, whom we describe as fully man, fully God. This inter-penetration of natural and super-natural worlds changed the playing field drastically. After this occurrence, man has the possibility of receiving the code or DNA of what we call heaven, but which we can call equally well the other dimensions.
The problem we have is that we lack a language adequate to communicate this peek we get of the other realm. A few years ago I was visiting my mom in Italy, couldn’t sleep, and wound up in the middle of the night listening to lectures by a quantum physics professor in Bombay, India. Fortunately it was in English, but the communication problem didn’t end there. I was fine for the first lecture, which I thought was going to continue in kind. It was an introductory lecture on the subject of quantum physics. I was feeling kind of proud of myself, that I was able to follow the discussion. By the second lecture, however, the professor made the point that words were not adequate to discuss the subject of this quantum world. We’ve all heard of the inability of English to describe snow in its many forms, whereas the Eskimo language has countless special words to accomplish this.
It turns out that physicists have developed the language of mathematical expressions to communicate about the realities of a world beyond the Newtonian three dimensions, and even the Einsteinian relativistic world beyond the four dimensions. Needless to say that after the second lecture I was forced to drop out of school. It might as well have been a course taught in German or Chinese.
My point is that we must be very patient as we attempt to communicate on such a topic. Sadly, our failure to communicate is not just our lack of knowledge of higher math. Some of us have learned a peculiar language we shall call Christianese, and we expect to be able to speak it to anyone without ever thinking that it is a foreign language to most. Actually, Christianese is to the language of the Bible as pigeon English is to English. It is a bastardization of a rich, complex, meaningful, multi layered language. Thus, everybody loses.
The failure of science and religion to integrate is historic. Galileo was convicted of heresy by the Catholic Church when he theorized that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not the other way around. This was a massive failure caused by the ignorance of the church to even know it’s own sacred text. Back in 1633 the church had the power. Starting with the Age of Enlightenment, the tables have been turned and the church is now powerless, and to a large extent irrelevant to much of the world. Both scientists and Christians do not speak the same language. Moreover, both sides have adopted mostly myopic, circular, limited points of view and communication is largely impossible. Both science and Christianity are also, at some level, both motivated by political control issues, both fearing the loss of something if they put their heads together.
Practitioners of both sides are victims of shallow understanding of their own fields, let alone that they are usually almost totally ignorant of the other’s discipline. Most Christians have never really studied their bible, relying on a light, pigeon-ized version of Christianity that is a result of mostly narrow-minded, denominational interpretation of Biblical revelation. On the side of science, we have students turned out as scientists and engineers who know little even of quantum, theoretical, and other bleeding edge fields of physics. Moreover the provincial, almost superstitious mind set brain washes students into towing the doctrinal line in universities much as the denominations do in their seminaries.
How shall we then ever recognize that there is no contradiction between science and Christianity. I only wish I could speak both languages so much better!