Patristic Theology and Modern Science Pt 14

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The Truth of Jesus Christ in us is the eternal truth of every single human being.  In the Incarnation the body and all the human faculties were made entirely compatible with the being of God in the humanity of Jesus Christ.  The body of the soul and the soul of the body of Jesus Christ has been made one with the soul of the body and the body of the soul of our humanity.  Our journey to better understand the truth of God is the eternal reality that our minds have been brought together in unity with the mind of God.  As we rest in His knowledge and trust He speaks to us, we find we start to make meaningful connections with people around us, our environment and the day to day issues in our lives.  We do not have to call for God to speak to answer but to merely lend an ear to Him so that we are able to see and know the way He sees and knows regarding all matters and manner of life that we enter into each and every day.   As we engage with our human activity in our day to day lives, we begin to find the sacred/secular divide is nothing but a myth.  Our vocations begin to be transformed into acts of worship rather than a necessary evil of the world we live in.  It also means our endeavour to know more about the world around us is one of prayer and invocation as we seek to discover the inner truths of people, the world and the universe we live in.

What we are venturing into here is a way of knowing that cannot be reduced to the realm of the human capacity to contain into a logical, deductive cause and effect mechanism.  Science in itself has long since realised that there has to some amalgamation of the metaphysical and theological into our investigations to seek a greater understanding of the truth.  The gnostic tendency of past science trying to lay claim to have the special knowledge with the ground rules to keep within rigid premises had to be set aside so that a more open and free way of engaging with the world around us could be employed.  One had to know a complicated set of rules and often confusing means of understanding the world before we could engage in our object of study.  This left science with multiple sets of regulating principles for each discipline.  Over the last 150 years or so there has also been the quest to find a regulating principle that governs order out of nothing as the search for the origins of the universe began to intensify.  There is an increasing awareness today that there is a regulating principle that is starting to bring all the disciplines of science together in a unified way.  Science and theology had the tendency of having the tail wag the dog.

Couple the idea of the regulating principle of the universe that was being sought after in the field of science with the regulating principle we have in theology, gives us the clue as to how we approach our scientific investigation.  Jesus Christ is the One and only regulating principle that governs all we need to know about God.  If it were not for Jesus Christ, we would never know anything true about God at all.  What we might believe to be the truth of God would have nothing other than the imagination of our mind to measure it against.  God discloses Himself in this very Person providing a specific and precise way for Him to be known.  Whatever we claim is the Truth regarding God is a Truth that comes straight from out of the being of God who speaks to each and everyone of us in an intimately direct way.  It is truth that sings and resonates from deep within our being as it mutually indwells within the being of God Himself.  This reality cannot be anything other than what this reality discloses.  This Truth is free from the rules and regulations of any human observer and stands entirely on its own merit even though it resides within us.  God who is flesh of our flesh and bones of our bones, whose soul is within His body and His body is of His soul, visibly portrays His very own Being as the Person of Jesus Christ as the regulating principle of who He is.  Jesus Christ cannot be anything other than who He is.

This is the fundamental question of Einstein, ‘Why is nature is what it is and not something else.’  We should take seriously what the inherent truth of the object is showing us and not try and express its truth in any other way.  So science must employ an exegesis of what they observe rather than reading into the object what they want it to say.  Our questions must be honest and the capacity to have our questions answered with explanations that must be true to what we see so we do not make the nature of the object something other than what it is.  Thus all things related to the object of our study must also remain true to what they are in their relationship with each other.  We have the ‘truth’ about light, the truth about magnetism and the truth about electricity.  As we draw out the truth of each of the objects and place them side by side, we find they have the same characteristics and are in fact related to each other.  In relating these objects together, neither single object is betrayed of its inherent truth providing physics with a regulating principle and a solid foundation to work from that it was searching for so long.

The object we study is the source where it reveals what it is and nothing else.  It is necessary that we familiarise ourselves with the truth as it is disclosed so that out of this truth comes appropriate questions and the subsequent answers that do not undermine the truth it discloses.  This is crucial if we are going to have a clear statement that properly reflects the truth about Jesus Christ who is also the truth about us.  Before we even start to think about who we are and what we do, we must turn to the source and ground of our being and understand who He is first.  Our humanity, along with its soul, spirit and all its faculties have their source in Jesus Christ.  Our humanity has been gathered up in the humanity of Jesus Christ and transformed to one that is in mutual indwelling fellowship with the Triune God.  We declare the truth of who we are in Jesus Christ as the ground of our being as beloved children of the Father.  The ground of our ‘being’ always comes before ‘doing.’  The mystery of the ages which has been hidden is now disclosed: Christ in me, the hope of glory.

When we familiarise ourselves with the reality of our humanity and understand the mystery unfolded in the Person of Jesus Christ, then adequate space and freedom is needed to unpack the implications in light of all our premises, hypotheses and theories.  Many, many questions may need to be asked before one starts to gain any confidence in living in this new found freedom.  This is also a very vulnerable time.  Because of our tendency to want to be able to logically deduce the implications of the Person and work of Jesus Christ, one is prone to fall back into this way of thinking in the endeavour to understand what God has done and try and anticipate what He is likely to do in the future.  In many cases, it is often undisciplined in the manner that answers are sought and followed through using speculation and inference rather than a proper exegesis of Scripture.

The endeavour to uncover the reality of the Person and work of Jesus Christ raises many questions.  We must take care not to present answers in areas that are not clearly represented in Scripture.  Scripture points to Jesus Christ who is the Lord of all our questions.  However, not all our questions are answered.  This does not necessarily mean we disregard all questions.  It is knowing when to be humble enough to stop and consider the fact that what remains with some questions are only possible answers.  We know Jesus Christ and we believe He is in us.  Nevertheless, it would do well to take heed to what Jesus Himself said in Matt. 11:27,

“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

No one knows the Son except the Father suggests to me there are some things that are simply out of our sight.  God has clearly proven to us that our human minds are so frail, that even when God stood before us in all His glory as the Man Jesus Christ, we still did not recognise Him and we killed Him.  Let’s not try to work things out beyond what we can see.  We have far too much to understand within our field of vision in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

to be continued  . . .