Misfit Disciples in an Orthodox World

Misfit Disciples in an Orthodox World
"You had better be a round peg in a square hole than a round peg in a round hole. The latter is in for life, while the first is only an indeterminate sentence." – Elbert Hubbard

Soundwaves, Stardust, and God

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This past Sunday, I was sitting out in the parking lot taking a moment's break between Sunday School and 11am Worship. Listening to NPR, I stumbled upon Bob Edward's Weekend, a show that I do not recall ever hearing. I caught the tail end of the show and they were sharing an essay written by a Divinity school student named Kimberly Woodbury, who was taking part of a colloquium at Yale University. The essay was short but craftily depicted her awe in the visibility of God in the universe. 

There's a scripture, written in Romans 1:20, that meshes well with what Miss Woodbury is saying: 

 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.[ESV]

I intentionally left the last sentence off of the above scripture, not because it has no value, but because for our purposes, it can be a distraction. It levies an accusation that is totally valid, given the author's subject. But I do not want to lose sight of the fact that the previous sentence can stand alone.

This author tells us that creation, nature itself, is constructed and woven in such a way as to illustrate the very eternal power and nature of God. That is exactly what Woodbury is saying in her essay when she states: "all the energy born at the dawn of creation still dances through the universe." This energy, as she calls it, can be traced back to the God who created it. No matter which side of the coin you choose to look at, its inherent simplicity, or the vast complexity of the universe, everything about this world that we live in speaks of the reality of a creator, a God who set all this in motion and watches over his creation with intense scrutiny. 

In my thinking, this is why man has always been inherently religious. Some would call it superstition, but regardless, from the earliest glimpses into history, man has had a fixation with the idea that there is something bigger than he is. This has manifested itself in the multiplicity of man's religions, which are themselves, attempts to explain god--the god or gods that they could not deny while looking at the world around them. 

Modernity was supposed to change all this. Man, in his quest for truth and knowledge, his vast ability to describe and understand his world, was to hail the death of God. The mystery was taken apart and man was seeing that the many things that led to his superstition were not as mysterious as previously thought. But, this hasn't happened. I mean, it has to some, but as a whole, man is far more religious today than he has ever been. Why? I think it is because the more layers we peel away, the more we become aware of. The more we see, the more we are able to see. And, the picture we see argues as much for the existence of God as anything ever has.

I think this phenomenon is stated best by Albert Einstein when he said: "A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of manisfestatons of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty-- it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude..." It seems that the more we know, the more we understand and see the profundity of the universe, the more we are convinced that there is something out there that is larger, much larger, than we are. We may not all call it God, but it is an acknowledgement that there is so much more to the cosmos than what we can see and comprehend. His eternal power and nature are revealed on all levels of existence, from the simplest to the most complex. 

Woodbury's essay says all this more eloquently than I, and I highly recommend you listen to it above. You can also access a printed copy of it at that link as well.


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