Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Earth Remains


While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.
Genesis 8:22

This is God's promise that the order of the universe will generally not be disrupted by Him while the earth remains. Eschatologically this means that as long as God has purposes for the current universe, it will run by the laws in which He created it. It allows for the possibility that God may re-make the universe (the new heavens and earth described later in scripture). And that is really what Newtonian physics (and for that matter even Einstein's theories) can currently describe for us. What God has decreed is empirically discernible. Of course, it is true that God created it to work this way even if we had not gotten all scientific as humans! We just have the awesome ability to begin to peek behind the curtain of the universe's big show. And God's work is impressive.

I highly recommend the work of Francis Collins (director of the human genome project) on just how impressive God's work is biologically. The other really good person on this is William Demski. In terms of the astrophysics involved in this sort of understanding, I like to read Hugh Ross, though I do not always find myself in agreement with his methods. Why all this exposure to scientists who make observations about the design and make-up of the universe? Simple. I believe that what God has decreed, what God has made, what God does is consistent with what His Word says. That means that I can trust His Word with no reservations because it is consistent with the world around me.

In the case of what God promised Noah after the Flood, He made it clear that the general operation of the universe would function according to the way in which He created it. That sheer normalcy is a divine reality. I like to think of it as the Great Divine Routine that bears witness to the Creator. The very fact that things occur according to the "rules" of gravity, or relativity, or nuclear forces, or even something as "normal" as tidal action, weather patterns, and seasonal changes based on the axis of the planet, let me know that God exists and is in control. Chance would seem to produce inconsistency and trauma. Design and God's Sovereign control has placed my soul to live in an ordered universe that ultimately brings glory to Him with every day that the earth remains.

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