Science confounds Science
Modern scientific theory has, of recent date, been confronted by a most unscientific dilemma 4 a scientific ‘ contradiction. Scientists who occupy themselves with research into the workings of the macro universe have convinced themselves that Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity adequately explains the phenomena observed. However, scientists who occupy themselves with the micro universe believe that Quantum Mechanics adequately explains the phenomena observed in their area of expertise. However, the problem is: — both theories cannot be right. They are mutually exclusive. It is a scientific impossibility for both of them to be right ~ and yet according to the laws of science they are both correct. Confused? Perhaps this explanation will help:
Calling it a cover-up would be far too 2 dramatic. But for more than half a century even in the midst of some of the greatest i scientific achievements in history — r physicists have been quietly aware of a dark 1 cloud looming on a distant horizon. The : problems this; There are two foundational T pillars upon which modern physics rests. One is Albert Einstein’s General Relativity, which provides a theoretical framework for understanding the universe on the largest of scales: stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and beyond to the immense expanse of the universe itself. The other is Quantum Mechanics, which provides a theoretical framework for understanding the universe on the smallest of scales: molecules, atoms, and all the way down to sub-atomic particles like electrons and quarks. Through years of research, physicists have experimentally confirmed to almost unimaginable accuracy virtually all predictions made by each of these theories. But these same theoretical tools inexorably lead to another disturbing conclusion: As they are currently formulated, General Relativity and S Quantum Mechanics cannot both be right. The two theories underlying the tremendous progress of physics during the last hundred years — progress that has explained the fundamental structure of matter — are mutually incompatible. The Elegant Universe, by Brian Greene, Vintage Books, New York, 1999, p. 3.
The Bible also occupies itself with science – the science of salvation. This “spiritual . science” also has a great “apparent” contradiction. This apparent paradox has ” ‘ disturbed the equilibrium of Christianity from its very beginning. This issue can be expressed, in broad terms, as what does God do, and what does man do, in the plan of salvation?” Fundamentally, the conflict between Paul and the Judaizers, in the early church, was over what God does and what man does in the plan of salvation. This question has reverberated down through the centuries in conflicts over law ‘ versus grace, justification versus sanctification, Christian perfection etc. There is very little in the way of theology that is not impacted by this question. It is an issue that has its origin in Scripture itself. This is because Scripture itself is the source of this apparent paradox. On the one hand Scripture tells us that · salvation is the free gift of God, and on the t other hand, that man need not add to it, and t indeed cannot, add to it (see Eph. 2:8,9). e And Ellen White emphatically endorses ; this fundamental pillar in the science of 2 salvation (see COL 3 l l)
However, Scripture also indicates that man . has a role to play in his own salvation. ‘, When the rich young ruler wanted to know r how he could obtain salvation Jesus said to f him: “. . .if thou would enter into life, keep ., the con1mandments” (Matt. il9:l7). Jesus e also told us that salvation is an expensive 1 business that requires effort and sacrifice, tl notjust on God’s part, but also man’s (see e Matt. 13:44-46). These two parables teach i, the same lesson. That salvation requires a c large “investment” on the part of man. s. This investment requires effort. Scripture e tells us that the “effort” that we need to put st in includes keeping the law; “For not the ll hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Rom. 2:l3). This statement of Paul’s in chapter two of Romans would appear to be diametrically opposed to the famous statement he has already made in chapter one: “The just shall live by faith” (v. l7). It is highly improbable that a theologian of Paul’s stature, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, could write two statements about how we are justified with God, that appear contradictory, without some sort of resolution that brings the two statements into harmony. If we cannot harmonize these issues we are left w ith uncomfortable _ questions that bring into question the divine inspiration of Scripture.
To be justified means to be “right” with God. Righteousness literally means “right doing.” We need to note that Scripture is full of exhortations to right doing. Some examples of many are: ‘”strive to enter in,” ‘”resist the devil,” “put off the old man,”, “work out your own salvation” (Lu. 13:24; James 4:7; Col. 3:9; Phil. 2: l2). These are all things that the Christian is asked to do. What needs to be resolved is: how do we do them? And how are our efforts to do these things related to grace? What is it that God does, and what is it that man does’? Once again Ellen White’s writings are in accordance with the biblical teaching that man has a role to play in his own salvation, she wrote: “. . . all who hope to be saved by the merits of the blood of Christ should realize that they themselves have something to do in securing their salvation “PP 279.
In the realms of natural science, the contradiction between the Theory of ‘ Relativity and Quantum Mechanics has been obscured, because those involved in science have been focusing on their own sphere of interest and not concerning themselves with the overall picture.
If you have not heard previously about this ferocious antagonism you may be t wondering why. The answer is not hard to come by. In all but the most extreme , situations, physicists study things that are ; either small and light (like atoms and their t constituents) or things that are huge and heavy (like stars and galaxies), but not both. This means that they need use only 5 Quantum Mechanics or only General t Relativity and can, with a furtive glance, shrug off the barking admonitions of the t other. For fifty years this approach has not been quite as blissful as ignorance, but i has been pretty close. ibid ,134.
Something similar has happened with Christianity.
Christians tend to look at this apparent paradox and they decide [either consciously or sub-consciously] that they will subscribe to one side of it or the other Therefore, they will choose to emphasize the Bible verses that support their preferred option and gloss over those that apparently promote the opposite point of view.
However, Jesus said: “. strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:l4). In other words, the science of salvation does not operate within broad parameters, but narrow ones. There is only one narrow way ~ not two! Does this mean that one side of the paradox must triumph over the other’?
Towards a Solution
Natural science is already moving towards a solution to the apparent paradox with the postulation of a theory that will reconcile the contradiction. This idea is known as string theory: For three decades, Einstein sought a i unified theory of physics, one that would · interweave all of nature’s forces and ‘ material constituents within a single theoretical tapestry. He failed. Now, at the end of the dawn of the new millennium, l proponents of string theory claim that the ‘ threads of this elusive unified tapestry finally have been revealed. String theory ‘ has the potential to show that all of the wondrous happenings in the universe ~– from the frantic dance of subatomic quarks to the stately waltz of orbiting binary stars, from the primordial fireball of the big bang ‘ to the majestic swirl of heavenly galaxies — are reflections of one grand physical principle, one master equation. [bid p.4,5.
It is not necessary to involve ourselves i with how string theory helps us to discover the “master equation” suffice to say that it involves the realization and acceptance of not four [time being the fourth] dimensions, but eleven. Jesus said it is a narrow road that leads to life and few there are that find it. The narrow road is salvation’s eleventh dimension. It is on this narrow road, called the science of salvation, where the apparent contradiction finds its solution. It is here where harmony reigns and peace is accomplished.
It is the purpose of the science of salvation to reveal and establish a similar reconciliation between apparent biblical contradictions as string theory does in natural science. Therefore, we should expect. to find a “master equation” that settles these apparent contradictions in the spiritual realm as does string theory settle contradictions in the natural realm. ls there perhaps a missing “dimension” to our understanding of salvation, where the apparent contradiction is resolved? Could the following statement be the “master equation” that adequately resolves the apparent contradiction: We are already perfect in Christ [grace] — and we are being made perfect by Christ [law]. Of course this ‘”master equation” also sounds like a contradiction »– and so it should. It should sound like at contradiction because it is simply reflecting the realities found in Scripture already mentioned above. However, when we have a thorough understanding of the science of salvation, we will understand how we can be already declared perfect, but also being made perfect at the same time. If we diligently studied these things for ourselves, perhaps much “barking admonition” could be avoided.- and more of God’s people would experience ‘”the peace of God. that passeth all understanding” ( Phil. 4:7). .2
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* http://www.ted.com In clear, nontechnical language, string theorist Brian Greene explains how our understanding of the universe has evolved from Einstein’s notions of gravity and space-time to superstring theory, where minuscule strands of energy vibrating in 11 dimensions create every particle and force in the universe. (This mind-bending theory may soon be put to the test at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva).
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Brian Greene: Making sense of string theory