Patristic Theology and Modern Science Pt 20

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The truth of all things is not a anthropologically derived system of presuppositional statements.  Truth existed before any human being became aware of it.  It existed before the foundations of creation were laid and will remain after the end of this age.  What humanity have done is to make this truth available through their ability to observe what they see and transform it into rational expression.  The more we can engage with and harness the truth of what we observe the more reliable and credible our enquiry will be.  More importantly, those who have laid down the truth in our past give a foundation so that others can build on this truth allowing it to govern how one is to progress forward.

In Christianity we have Jesus Christ, the Person, who is the rule of faith  and the overriding truth regarding all the ways and works of God.  We understand Him to be the truth behind the universe and the Source for its contingency.  The mind of God in Jesus Christ is in union with our mind where it interacts and interpenetrates one another.  There is also union between Jesus Christ and the truth that is contained throughout the universe.  If any claim is made to the truth of the universe, then it will be entirely consistent with the Truth of God revealed in the Person work of Jesus Christ.  Therefore if we as Christians are to engage in scientific enquiry, there is no reason to abandon our faith in the quest for truth.  The very same process of engaging in theology with a sanctified mind so as to deliver faithfully what has been placed into our hands should also be carried out in scientific enquiry.  It is not a matter of trying to make something true so that it fits neatly into our theories and premises and have it line up with our preconceived presuppositions.  It is remaining faithful to the object of our study and deliver our findings even of they are contrary to everything we thought previously.  If we fail to do so, then truth will be sacrificed for the sake of myth and overall progress will stall.

Many of us never started in Trinitarian theology.  Most of us started out believing a so called truth engaging and participating in theology that was so contrary to what we believe now.  Nevertheless, we began with Jesus Christ as the truth who in some mysterious way convinced us to pursue the Christian life.  At some point in our journey, we became aware there was a greater truth we had not yet uncovered.  Up until this time, what we were led to believe was contrary to the truth.  We were faithful to an untruth but the truth was there all along.  Once we discovered the true nature of who Jesus Christ was we came away with something that did not line up with our theories, premises and presuppositions.  The truth of the very Person of Christ exposed the myths we held onto and a tremendous repentance came over us.  We abandoned the myth in exchange for the truth.  It is to Jesus Christ we all are thankful to for having tremendous patience and grace to show us something greater than what we thought we knew as truth.  It is with this same humility that we pursue scientific enquiry.  It is a willingness to allow the greater truth to teach us and make the necessary changes so that we line up with it to the best of our ability without trying to have the last word.  As with theology, we submit and are obedient to the greater truth.

Can we remember the day we first had our heart and minds unveiled to the truth of Jesus Christ?  Was it explainable or inexplicable?  If it could have been explained, then where is the miracle of encounter of something from beyond?  We readily made changes in our lives to line up with this so called truth.  We need to take it a step further.  When we heard the message of God as Triune we were transformed once again into a new way of thinking and seeing.  Another miracle happened.  I was very resistant to this message at first.  Then something happened once again in an instant and a change occurred.  When we see Jesus Christ as the window into the heart of the Father as well as the window into who we truly are in His sight we find a tremendous healing that strikes to the very foundation of our being.  Our view of God, the view of ourselves and the way we view all others changes almost overnight.  It can take some time before we become use to seeing the world through the eyes of Jesus Christ.  I remember who I had the conversation with that led to this change but what I remember even more was the One who caused the change in me from what I thought was reality to the way it really was.  One planted, the other watered but it was Jesus Christ that caused His Light to shine in me.

Modern science operates in much the same way. At the campus where I began my tertiary journey used the term Eureka! when one or a group discovered the truth in our discussion.  It was the aha moment where we began to see what our lecturers and tutors wanted us to see.  When we saw the truth of a particular matter, we then lined ourselves up with this truth and was better able to understand the information that was drawn from it.  On the other hand, when it came to the theory of evolution, there was the method of rote learning using logical presuppositions to reach the desired outcome.  This theory is the best example of an old method of Newtonian science that stalls and forces everything into its muzzle and squeezing it into its premise and assumptions excluding everything else that contradicts it.  It is likely this science is based on questionable truth and leads us astray.  Creationism has the same Newtonian method and argument and can also lead astray.

If we take note of the crowds that listened to Jesus as he spoke.  They were under pressure to conform to the institution of the day.  Yet many were convinced of what he taught while the institution use all sorts of threats to try and keep control of the crowd.  The reputation of the Apostle Paul prior to his encounter was that of a murderer and persecutor of the Christians.  Yet after his encounter even under the threat of death by the establishment, he was unmoved and unwavering in his commitment to Jesus Christ.  There may have been equal pressure from the Christian community to prove he was a follower.  My reputation as one hostile to the Christian faith was well known in my own circles.  After my encounter with Christ, all the ridicule and hostility I came under as a result did not move me.  I was committed to the gospel.  My instinct and my intuition took over my previous logical arguments against Christianity.  I held onto this even before I understood anything the Bible said.

In my study groups, I often asked people to share their testimony about the first time they believed.  All of them spoke of the inward experience of Jesus Christ and a realisation of the truth in Him.  Not one of them used a logical process that led them to Jesus Christ.  Rather it was by encounter of the Risen Word that opened their eyes to Him.  It was the Eureka or the aha moment that pre-empted the change of mind.  It was out of the control of human beings and in the hands of the Spirit.  In each case a miracle happened precious to each one.  Scientific discovery is also a miracle.  James Clerk Maxwell intuitively knew that light functioned in a similar way and had similar properties to the electromagnetic field.  He was later proven to be correct.  This here was a miracle that would change the world forever.  Not the miracle of his logic and reason but the miracle that he was somehow able to see, hear and to know what he saw.  It is the same when we somehow see, hear and know the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

This is what Christianity and science have in common.  People in science often stumble across these discoveries as they explore the inner truths in their respective objects.  Christians become aware of a presence of reality from within.  Both the Christian and the scientist when they discover the inner truths of their respective objects discover the way things really are.  Under the weight of their inner truths, profound changes are brought about in the mind of each.  It goes beyond wisdom, logic and reason.  When we lay a hold of it and assent to it, we undergo a transformation of the mind to conform to this profound truth. This shows us there is a way, a truth and life far beyond what we are able to yet fully grasp and understand.  Yet, if we ask, seek and knock, little by little we begin to enter into a whole new way of seeing, hearing and knowing.