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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday message- Kaku's Physicist

Michio Kaku, whom I've mentioned before on these posts, is a physicist with a refreshingly out-of-the-box point of view on things.  Recently, a video of him from the site Big Think made the rounds on FB.  In it, he described mathematicians as being a bit resentful of physicists' ability to use their equations.  Mathematicians, he explained, looked upon their equations as an art, exquisite in their beauty, and needing no practical application.  But time after time, as they explored the boundaries of string theory and the attempts to combine quantum theory with general relativity, physicists found the universe explained in equations that mathematicians "hoped" would be left alone, to become just shiny baubles of design and not a tool for some "mundane" theory.  Not being a mathematician, I don't know if that's true, but as Kaku works with them, there must be some fire to the smoke.

Concluding, Kaku posited that there HAD to be some greater intelligence that designed the multiplicity of our universe- and that intelligence was a mathematician!  Now, I come to you not to promote Kaku's "evangelism", or God's scholasticism.  But I am going to use this as a stopping off point: that here we find there are two kinds of truth seekers; ones that are willing to see design in that which they do not fully understand, and those that think they should just find one kernel of truth, have it accepted by all as the finest work of their own hands, and never again progress.

I have often said on these posts that our God is a BIG God- just as beyond the understanding of we who have faith as He is to those that think man is the be-all and end-all and refuse to see Him as any more than a fairy tale.  Kaku, in a book I referenced before, told how superstring theory had used these "beautiful" mathematical calculations to show that you COULD combine quantum theory and general relativity- IF you excepted as fact that there are, including the three spatial dimensions and time that we can experience, 11- or perhaps 23- dimensions, most so far beyond our experience that we cannot perceive them.  And that gravity, the four forces of physics, and perhaps time itself, are just the vibrations of our experiential dimensional set "rubbing against" them.  Point being, to understand how something COULD work, Kaku has to accept that there is a LOT out there that they haven't figured out- and with our limited perceptions, most likely WON'T be able to figure out.

And it struck me the other night that as far beyond the "common man" as this concept is to conceive, that even it is simple enough that we have caught a glimpse of it- and God is SO much more.  I have dealt over the years with people that have told me that Jesus MUST have been a man who had the Spirit of God poured into him, because a "section" of God becoming human just doesn't make sense.  I have dealt with those, including myself, who have said that certain things that happen in this world make no sense if a "loving God" is in charge.  I have dealt with those who cannot perceive that the intent of a god can go beyond the actions of his followers, and those who believe God is limited to touching us through "Church Fathers" who know more than we do.

In the beginning of the Book of Ruth, we look at two women with drastically different points of view.  Naomi has come to Moab, lost a husband and two sons, and feels her legacy has been taken.  By society norms of the day, since she is no longer a wife and mother, she has no value.  She cannot conceive of Ruth and Orpah, her daughters-in-law, staying with her, because the only thing that can give a woman worth is a husband and children, and she cannot give either to these girls.

Ruth, on the other hand, ignores the understandings of society.  She looks out of the box and sees things that are more important- love, honor, respect, loyalty, and duty.  She doesn't follow Naomi, as Naomi puts it, expecting Naomi to pop out another child for Ruth to marry.  She follows because it is the right thing to do.  Naomi is Kaku's Mathematician, Ruth is his Physicist.

The other night, in wrestling with sins and forgiveness, I tuned into a certain preacher at the exact moment he was describing four things that God is that we need to remember.  And while God is BIG, and well beyond our comprehension, he hit on the four things, just like Ruth did, that are more important.  A sinner needs to come to God remembering:

God is AWARE.  Ever since Eden, sin has made us hide ourselves from God for no reason.  We aren't concealing anything.  He already knows it, and knew it when He first made Himself known TO us.  Even if the sin is fresh off the presses, there is nothing to be gained from hiding and everything to be gained from coming immediately to Him.

God is AVAILABLE.  If we come to Him in sincerity seeking mercy, He is right there.  We don't need an appointment, don't have to wait until morning hoping for some statute of limitations to kick in.  If we need to confess, the confessional is OPEN, 24/7/365.

God is CAPABLE.  We go to Him and say, "I can't do this, I can't get away from that."  Guess what?  He KNOWS that.  He doesn't expect you to do whatever "it" is for you; He expects you to give it to Him and let Him do it, while you do your best to be obedient to Him.  No matter how difficult "it" is for you, God CAN do it.

And I will confess that over the course of the week, I lost the fourth one in my mind.  But I cannot help but believe it is that God is MERCIFUL, and can remove the sins we confess "as far as the east is from the West."  How is He capable of this?  What are the mechanisms by which Christ's death accomplishes this?  Like many of the other things I've mentioned today, I don't exactly know, and I don't need to.  Perhaps it will all make sense when we are part of that 11-or-23-or whatever-dimensional everything that He is, perhaps not.  But He, being that everything, understands it and that is fine with me.

Does that sound like faith begetting ignorance?  Maybe to the person that thinks man is capable of figuring out everything, because life's just this big accident that happened and man blundered into the top spot on the evolutionary pile somehow.  But to someone who can see in everything we learn that we are learning about something we are not equipped to ever FULLY grasp, that can see the intelligent designer in the ever-revealing fabric of the multiverse, it is enough.


  1. Chris:
    That was a good intro into your sermonette today.
    Kaku's take on the universe is just that...some things we will probably never come to know, and that's okay.
    Just because we can't touch it, buy it, sell it, hear it, or even see it, does NOT mean it does not exist, right?
    Suppose that's where FAITH comes into play.

    I liked the story of Ruth, too.
    (nice segue)
    And, I'd MUCH rather be a physicist than a mathematician any day (I sucked at Algebra first time around), and what was up with all those "x" quantities we had to solve for anyway? Felt more like guessing than solving.

    Twenty THREE dimensions? WHEW!
    (who added the last five and why am I not getting all my memos?)
    Easy to notice that some folks have trouble with JUST the mundane THREE...heh.
    Food for thought, that's for sure.

    Good post.

    Stay safe up there, brother.

    1. This was a good example of the fact that it is not my mind that puts these posts together. The Kaku story was from a couple weeks ago, the sermon involved was Friday night I think- but Ruth? She came in as I read the Bible just moments before I was going to go down and try to make something of it all.

  2. Another post that made me think and gave me a headache from thinking I could thank you for that but who likes headaches no one so I am not thanking

    1. But think about the good I do for your soul- oh, wait, take an aspirin first!

  3. I'm always amazed by the folks who think that if you believe in science you can't believe in God. Or the Bible. That those two things cannot work together. Imagine if God had tried to explain the creation story in "scientific" terms back in the beginning... Can you imagine anyone making it to Chapter 2 of Genesis? Because, let's face it, I don't think the modern-day physicist would get it. Moving on...

    I saw your "east as from the west" quote. Is that from the Casting Crowns song? If so, that is one of my favorites.

    I will add this to your blog bit as food for thought. We get into trouble whenever we try to pigeon hole God. We like to put him in a box or a safe place where we think we understand Him. God will always be bigger than any shelf or corner or street or country or even idea we try to stuff Him into. The closest we'll ever get is by wrapping Him in Love and then we're just glimpsing Him.

    1. East from west is Psalms 103:12, which is where I'm sure they got it as well, so we're all good.

      Last paragraph: well put. We spend too much time like the Greeks, looking for a God we can grasp. Thus we have an Invisible God with visible attributes while the ancients had a god who turned into an animal to get nookie.

  4. Interesting. The book of Ruth was part of my Bat Mitzvah ceremony - I read from it. "Where you go, I shall go...Where you die, I shall die and there I will be buried." But I didn't know Oprah nudged her way into things. That woman has to be everywhere.

    1. Actually Orpah, not Oprah. I am told by at least one source that Oprah was supposed to be Orpah, but Mom didn't know how to spell it.

      If it had been Oprah, she'd have been like, "You get a hubby, and YOU get a hubby, and YOU...

      BTW, I'm sorry this comment got lost in the wash. The old Blogger set up used to warn me when I had stuff awaiting moderation, but the new doesn't (which I didn't know until now), and somehow I booted the e-mail notification.

    2. Then I didn't see it at first when I hit publish, and thought I deleted it by accident. Oy!