The Christ Experiment No. 4
- The First Cause -
One of the biggest obstacles in accepting and expanding the true teachings of Jesus to a modern world is the fabricated and manufactured controversy between religion and science. We say ‘fabricated and manufactured’ because the controversy is not authentic. It arises as a process of misunderstood and divergent agendas and not as a result of true opposing ideologies.
This is because religion and science are studies of the same phenomena. Both are examining the same reality but from different perspectives. We see science as a study of the manifestations of Deity, referred to as “the natural world,” and religion as the study of the personality of Deity, more commonly known as “God.” The conundrum of whether Deity is a personality or a force is an apt description of the controversy between religion and science. The unifying answer is that Deity is both. Deity is a dynamic personality who reveals Himself through various manifestations of energy and power!
So rather than limit ourselves to one avenue of Deity study, let us consider the whole of Deity, beginning from the very beginning. Beginning with the First Cause. So, really, what really is Deity?
Background and Observation
We might say that Deity is the source and power from which all reality arises. Our universe is a Deity manifested reality. This means that outside of Deity, there is no reality. We are not saying that outside of Deity, there is nothing. We are saying, outside of Deity, there is no reality, not even something that could be called “nothing.” This may sound complicated, but it can be easily illustrated in a way that the human mind can comprehend. Here is our attempt at it.
Religionists believe that God is the creator of everything – everything that is now in existence and everything that has ever been in existence. And scientists, especially physicists and astronomers, have managed to theoretically go back to the primordial moment of a First Cause. So, let’s take that journey in our minds back in time to the very beginning, just before the first thing came into existence – long before the beginning written about in the Book of Genesis.
The book of Genesis discusses the formation of the earth, according to man’s then understanding. It acknowledges that the “heavens” were already in existence, and it makes no mention of the creation of heavenly or celestial beings. Therefore, in order to complete our journey to Deity, we must go back even further than that – before the planets were formed, before our sun was formed, before our galaxy was formed, before any other being came into existence – all the way back before the first causative act.
To help us understand how far back we need to go in our mental journey through the universe, we will share with you a link that was provided to us by a dear friend. This link takes us back in time to the furthest extent of the observable universe.
When you click on the link, select your language and then ‘Start.’ (There is music associated with this link so if you are in a place where that would be inappropriate, you might want to mute your speakers.) At the bottom, you will see a bar. If you drag the button to the left, it will take you in to the smallest known particle in the universe. And if you drag the button to the right, it will take you out to the farthest limit of the observable universe, as far as man has been able to observe. This forward journey is really a journey back in time. It shows the many things that came into existence long, long before earth. Give it a try. Here is the link:
If you have reached the outer limit of the observable universe, you will see that we still have not reached the First Cause. There is so much more out there that man has not been able to observe, even with their most advanced instruments. And those who study our universe acknowledge that there is a great deal more out there.
This link is just an exercise to get you started on your contemplative journey through the universe to the very beginning. As you can see from the illustrated link, the journey necessarily goes back so much further. Nevertheless, you can take that journey through the not-as-yet observable universe in your mind, going back, back, to the first absolute beginning, to a time when Deity existed alone.
Now. Are you there? If so, what do you see? Some might imagine seeing Deity floating alone in space, dark space with nothing else. No matter how far you look out into the distance in every direction, nothing is there. But if that is what you see, you have not gone back far enough, because space itself is “something.” We need you to stretch your imagination and go back further . . . before there was even space!
Now. Are you there? What do you see? Or rather, what do you imagine is there? If you can take your imagination back that far, you have found Deity! Deity existing alone. Nothing above or below it. Nothing around it. No space. No time. Just Deity.
Now, we need to move to the next step. When Deity decided to create something, what was the first thing that had to be created? Think about that. Only Deity exists. Nothing else.
It is reasonable to conclude that the first thing Deity had to create was space. There had to be space to put whatever Deity decided to create. To illustrate: Imagine you have a puddle of water and you want to create another puddle of water. The only way you will be able to identify the second puddle is by finding a separate place to put it. If you put the second puddle right on top of the first puddle, you still have one puddle. Accordingly, in order for Deity to create something that could be recognized as different from Himself, Deity needed to create a space to put that something else. Thus, the first creative act was the creation of space and with it, time because time is how space is measured.
Religionists can conceive of this First Cause. In the Bible, it is written:
“For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.”
– Hebrews 3:4
And scientists can theorize it. In fact, the creation of space and time is, for all intents and purposes, the touted “Big Bang.” Even the renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has unwittingly opened the door to this understanding of Deity and First Cause. He is quoted as saying:
“When people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the big bang, so there is no time for god to make the universe in. It’s like asking directions to the edge of the earth; The Earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge; so looking for it is a futile exercise. We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is; there is no god. No one created our universe, and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that I am extremely grateful.”
Professor Hawking’s words have convinced many people that “there is no god.” But to us, his conclusion is based on faulty and shallow reasoning. We intend to show that in these series of Experiments on Deity, starting with this one. For the record, we wrote an email to Professor Hawking in August 2011 sharing our views, but as yet, he has not responded. Hopefully, if Professor Hawking ever finds his way to this site, he may come to know that there in indeed a God, and that, if he chooses, he can one day leave the confines of his wheelchair free of defect, free of the cumbersome nature of mortal existence, and be free to personally explore the very universe he has devoted his life to study, the very universe he so longingly observes from afar. But back to our point.
In the above quote, Professor Hawking acknowledges that the universe can be traced back to one specific point in the far distant past which sparked the first act. Religion and science can agree on that. And Professor Hawking is correct when he states that time had to exist in order for a God to create something. However, what he fails to appreciate and understand is that Deity created time and space as His first act. The so-called “Big Bang” is the first act of Deity to create a space within which to begin creating a physical universe.
Professor Hawking's conclusion that God does not exist is to be expected given the limited realm within which a scientist operates – the finite universe – coupled with his failure to understand Deity. Although common religion tends to simplify God's identity, attributes and power as anthropomorphic – nothing more than a superhuman, advanced religion seeks to understand God with the premise that God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts, that God's attributes are higher than our attributes, that God's substance is higher than our substance, etc. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Otherwise, how could He merit the title "God?"
Advanced religion teaches that God – the Infinite Absolute Deity – is the First Source and Center of all things, including the three essential elements – energy, matter and space – along with time. Deity not only transcends time, He is timeless. Deity not only transcends space, He is spaceless. He is an Absolute, Unqualified (undefinable), Undifferentiated, Existential Being.
Professor Hawking further infers that if Deity interacts with the universe, He must be fully contained within that universe. Again, Hawking is mistaken. As the creator of time and space, Deity cannot be contained within His creation. In fact, as a Timeless, Spaceless Being, who could even perceive his presence?! We should not expect that the complete essence of a God capable of creating the vast universe that Hawking so fervently observes could or would exist within that finite universe. Early Bible writers understood this:
“But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!”
– 1 Kings 8:27
“But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?”
– 2 Chronicles 2:6
Rather than being personally present in His creation, advanced religion tells us that Deity can attenuate Himself such that a representation of his Deity can exist within, and interact with, His creation. By attenuation (which we will discuss in the next Experiment), Deity condescends to communicate with His creations, without leaving His place of superposition above/over/beyond the finite universe. The writer of the book of Job understood this:
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above —what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?"
– Job 11:7-8
“Is not God in the heights of heaven? And see how lofty are the highest stars! Yet you say, ‘What does God know? Does he judge through such darkness? Thick clouds veil him, so he does not see us as he goes about in the vaulted [or rooftop of] heavens.’”
– Job 22:12-14
So, while science can conceive of a moment when there was no time, that does not negate the existence of the Timeless, Spaceless Deity who can personalize Himself as “God” among His creation. This fact defeats a scientific conclusion asserting that "there is no God.” Science simply lacks the foundational suppositions necessary to formulate a plausible, let alone verifiable, conclusion as to the existence of Deity beyond the physical universe.
Science is an honorable and necessary endeavor, but it is limited to the examination of the finite universe – the natural world. It can only go so far, and then it hits a wall. Professor Hawking, and other physicists and astronomers like him, have discovered that wall, nothing more. They have not yet discovered Deity because Deity exists beyond that wall – beyond the reach of the physical sciences. But recognizing a First Cause is the beginning of understanding Deity, both by the religionist and the scientist. Deity’s first act of creation gives man hope that life has meaning and purpose. We will examine this aspect of Deity in the next Experiment.
The Hypothesis and Prediction
Based on the above, we wonder: Since science and religion can trace the origin of the universe back to the same moment, are they really so different? What would happen to the divide between science and religion if each pursued their interests with honesty, openness and fearlessness, instead of with an agenda to prove the other wrong?
We hypothesize that if the veil of illusion of a conflict is pulled back, the scientist will gain an appreciation for religion and the religionist will gain an appreciation for science. Together they can expose and disintegrate undue fear, superstitition and falsehoods, and find the real origins and meaning of life that have so long obscured the joy inherent in acknowledging Deity – the powerful, living and loving God.
In light of the above, we ask our readers to share their thoughts about the Background and Observation to Experiment No. 4, by responding to questions such as:
1. Did we get it wrong? Is our observation incorrect? If so, what part?
2. Do you see that true science and true religion are on common ground?
3. What stands in the way of the religionist and the scientist from mutual respect and appreciation?
Your Family in the Faith,