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« Blessings for sale | Main | Another Reason for Kevin to Love Winnie »

June 27, 2007

Light and the Nature of God

Prismandlight Theologians and Bible commentators have observed that among the four gospels, the Gospel of John is unique. Whereas Matthew, Mark and Luke emphasize what Jesus did and what he taught, John’s emphasis is on who Jesus was: the Son of God, the Word made flesh, the One who was with God from the beginning and who, in fact, was God. He is the One who introduced himself to Moses as, “I AM.” It is fitting that John’s account, highlighting the divinity of Christ, contains the great “I am” statements of Jesus.

To the religious establishment of the day, Jesus uttered the shocking claim, “Before Abraham was born, I am.” I imagine that was the first time those words had been uttered since the burning bush. Nothing could have been more offensive to the ears of a first-century Jew—little wonder that Jesus got nailed to a tree.

To his disciples, Jesus said that he was “the vine,” and “the way, the truth and the life.” And to the crowd, he announced “I am” the gate, the good shepherd, the bread of life, and the resurrection and the life. But prior to these proclamations, Jesus revealed to all: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

As an educated and trained physicist, I have always been profoundly impressed by the metaphor of light for Jesus. In my opinion, nothing in the material universe reveals as much about the nature of God.

At the surface level of understanding, light is a source of illumination that opens our senses to the visible world. At a deeper level, “light” opens our minds to rational argument, understanding and truth. Light is also a source of life. Biological life, as we know it, would not exist without the carbon food cycle dependent on photosynthesis. However, it wasn’t until the advent of the 20th century that some of the hidden mysteries of light would be made known.

In 1905 Albert Einstein rattled the cages of the scientific academy with the theory of Special Relativity. While most people associate Einstein’s theory with the relative nature of time, the foundation of relativity is the constancy of light: for all observers in all frames of reference, the speed of light will be measured as 186,000 miles per sec. As I have previously noted, this makes light an ideal measurement standard with several profound characteristics.

Because the speed of light will be measured the same by all observers, regardless of their speed, their measurement of time must vary. For the extreme case of an explorer blitzing through the cosmos at the speed of light, time will stop—he will not only become ageless, he will become omnipresent, for as he goes from point “A” to point “B”, he will experience both locations, and every place in-between, as they were when he set out on his journey…even if his departure point and destination are separated by ten billion light-years!

A source of illumination, revelation, life. An ideal Measure; constant, ageless, omnipresent. Astonishing! Thousands of years before Einstein, the apostle John used a metaphor for Jesus that could only be fully appreciated at the advent of modern physics. Like I said, as a former physicist I’m in awe over the inspired testimony: “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”

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Comments

Steve

I'm also reminded of the 'two natures' of light: wave and particle...

God and man...

Catherine

Glad you mention this Regis. We will have two BreakPoints airing next week on Ellen Vaughn's new book Time Peace. She delves into the strange nature of light and of time to open our eyes to the fact that God is even bigger than we imagine Him to be. Tune in next week! :-)

Brian

Seriously... Science never ceases to fill me with wonder and awe. God's creation is truly something special.

Regis Nicoll

Steve,

Great point. After Thomas Young discovered the wave nature of light, Einstein discovered its particle nature via the photo-electric effect. As you rightly suggest, the dual nature of light reflects the dual nature of Jesus as man and God. It's yet one more example of how creation not only reveals a Creator, but reveals something about the Him.

Charlie

"In the beginning..."

In life we are SUPPOSED to (as instructed by Jesus)not only be teachers of God...His lessons are ALWAYS about RELATIONSHIP.God IS love, and came into the physical world to help us understand LOVE IS...unconditional. If you have light,it fills the darkness or void, as the darkness learns to see that light, so does the source of that light opening the eye to learn what IS in that void. Neither can exist without each other. That is God. We are not suppose to judge the void or "those" in the dark, we are suppose to co-exist. That is Love, which I believe is spiraling, infinitely evolving and learning, just like our(D.N.A...Which IS emmittng ultra-violet LIGHT,hello)expanding universe, which is alive. It has a heartbeat...Listen, and you can hear it. Hear the voice, what God is trying to help us understand, so we can communicate Life better. Personally, I think the analogy of the trinity the "father, Son ect." coincide with the analogy of light, which brings us right back to RELATIONSHIP.You have to love from all three perspectives, and CHOOSE to exist as a walking sacrifice of light stepping in the deepest, darkest of wells, fear and unknown to bring our love and understanding as we learn ourselves to share with those who may need it to navigate in this physical, eternal, and spiritual world. We cannot see light and know love if we Don't know the opposite fear and abandonment.God knows this...when Christ hung on the tree, and TIME stood still. Don't be afraid of the "dark". Trust, God Will BE with you ALWAYS. He IS the LOVE inside us...Without anything to learn, would we have teachers OR students at all???Would it bring us Back through time to do it all over again out of love? May BE, ANTHING IS POSSIBLE! That's love(GOD)to me...God Blesses us all if we allow ouselves to recieve love. We have to Choose to be deserving, in other words, KNOW Love, or share the gift of light to those who may not BE able to see at all...


Charlie Alexander

Gary Trice

Traveling Fast!

If we were to take off on the Space Shuttle and fly at 18,000 miles an hour we could cross the Unites States in 10 minutes.

In an hour and a half we could circle the Earth.

In 13 hours we could travel the distance to the moon. It would take us three months to cover the 26 million miles to Venus and seven to cover the distance to the Sun. Pluto would still be over two years away at 2.67 billion miles.

Now these are only the planets in our solar system. It would take us 160,000 years to get to the nearest star.

The fastest speed we know of is measured at 6 trillion miles per year. It is the Speed of Light.

The farthest known object from earth is believed to be about 10 billion light years away. And it would take over 6 days for light to leave earth and travel there.

In all of our exploration we have never seen the Gates of, or even the outer regions of, Heaven.

When Jesus hung on that cross dying we learn that one of the criminals beside Him asked to be remembered when Jesus reached heaven.

Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

“TODAY!” He said “TODAY” !!!!!!!

Now that’s Traveling Fast !

Wm Bradford

Also as a former physicist and engineer I'm continually amazed at the depth of knowledge in God word. I'm surprised that you have not been swamped from the keepers of the word (the pseudo intellectual seminary guardians) condemning you as a heretic for such a statement. I have found very few that can begin to grasp or visualize the magnitude and greatness of God. Most continually try to bring God down to their finite level of comprehension. God is beyond comprehension.

Your analysis of the nature of God is definitely better than most seminary grads or their teachers today. The true nature of God is so far beyond the collective abilities or understanding of man that words can not describe Him.

As all matter contains or consists of energy in various forms, with God the reverse is also true, (ie energy converted to matter, photosynthesis and other examples). The depth of knowledge, even in the Genesis creation story when put in proper context with other revelations in the word, reveal insights into the ongoing mysteries continually cropping up in the fields of science. I feel we must first realize that there is a spiritual realm or dimension that existed before the creation of the physical realm or the dimension we exist in. The physical or temporal world was created out of the spiritual realm. That part of the spiritual realm is 4 dimensional as is the physical realm and that these are parallel.

Have you noticed the ever-growing science mysteries: dark matter, dark energy, superstrings, hidden dimensions, parallel universes, quantum paradoxes ...? There is a unified view when the spiritual realm of God is taken into consideration and we climb out of the rut conventional science has been in for over a century.

A born again Christian does not have to park their brain at the church door, just study the word with the help of the Holy Spirit as your guide and be aware of the fact that most denominations today lean more heavily on doctrines of men than they do on the real word of God.

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