Saturday, 19 January 2013

How Big is Your God?

Some years ago I came across a man who was a convert to Islam. I am always interested in how these things happen and it seems the first thing that grabbed his attention was the first verse of the Koran, “Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of worlds...”

He was impressed because it mentions “worlds.” His point was that this seemed to anticipate and embrace modern science because it recognised more than one world. He had always had the idea that the Christian God was a God limited to this world, or that was the impression he had grown up with. I have thought a lot about that.

I am also reading a book entitled “The Genesis Enigma.” It is the account of one atheistic biologist’s grappling with an amazing discovery he has made in the first chapter of the Bible, i.e. he is amazed to discover that the creation account in Genesis is accurate to the very latest scientific discoveries and understanding of origins. He says, “Genesis 1 is correct in a way it has no business to be.”

He is an evolutionist of course and I don't want to get into that but he struggles with questions science simply can't answer. At one point he writes, “I see no problems whatsoever with the process of evolution. But I have encountered questions about life on earth that should have an equivalent scientific answer, yet to which no answer seems to be forthcoming.” He goes on to suggest maybe science will never answer those questions and perhaps the only answer is a Creator.

Like my Muslim acquaintance, however, he has come across too many Christians who have a God incapable of dealing with let alone ruling and reigning over what is being discovered by science. As  JB Phillips put it “Your God is too Small.” But I have also been reading Genesis for myself (Its is January after all) and right there in Genesis 2 we read, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.”

The heavens and the earth...” I think that covers worlds, “ all their vast array...” I think that copes with anything science might throw at us. In the Psalms we read:

O LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendour and majesty.

He wraps himself in light as with a garment;

He stretches out the heavens like a tent.” Ps.104:1,2

The Bible reminds us that our God is so great we can trust him even in the face of death. That when our prayers seem not capable of being answered yet his purposes serve a greater end even through the greatest trials, and even death is conquered in those who trust in him. Paul writes of God's,

Incomparable power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above all rule and authority, power and dominion...” Eph.1:19-21

As we enter a new year we must enter it trusting in this God and not the feeble God of limited imagination. We must say, “Worlds?” Let me tell you about worlds.”

By him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church...” Col.1:16-18

No comments: