Today: 01 November 2014
 
 

  

Is faith reasonable?  

Remember Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and the porridge that was just right? The scientists who study the universe—cosmologists—are now grappling with a strange feature of the universe we inhabit: why is it that it is amazingly fine-tuned for life to flourish? And because all the ‘knobs’ that could be twiddled to make the universe work seem to be set just right (not too hot, not too cold…) they are even calling it the Goldilocks Enigma (the Anthropic Principle).
Christians agree that God made
the universe - even if we don't
know exactly how

Evidence is piling up that the universe began as a single point in space, and at a definable length of time in the past. Most evidence, and here we must thank the Hubble telescope, is pointing to what’s become known in masterly understatement as the Big Bang. This event marked the beginning of all matter and space—and even the existence of time itself.

Scientists don’t like beginnings, or ‘discontinuities’ as they prefer to call them. They raise questions to which there can be no (scientific) answers—what caused the universe to come into existence at all? And how come everything is just right for intelligent life to exist and flourish? Not expanding so fast that no stars could ever form, and not expanding so slowly that it eventually collapses in on itself. Not so hot that life would be destroyed; not so cold that no chemical and biological reactions could take place.

One of the most popular scenarios emerging amongst scientists (at least, among those who don’t accept such a being as a Creator) is the concept of the ‘multiverse’—a multiplicity of parallel universes. These other universes have different settings of the ‘knobs’, that are not ‘just right’ like ours. We happen to be in this one because it suits life.

But here is the big gotcha: these other universes are not detectable to us in our universe! Not just that we haven’t figured out how to detect them yet, or we need to develop our technology a bit more. They are, and always will be, undetectable to us. Period.

So there you have it: a theory that is neither provable nor disprovable, and never can be. It’s a theory that will be forever an unverifiable assumption. Not, perhaps, irrational, but not based on any evidence either. An item of faith, if you like.

Neither is it against reason to have faith in the existence of a Creator. The Creator’s existence will remain in this life an ‘unprovable’ assumption, in the strict scientific sense. Even though it is consistent with the evidence , it goes beyond the evidence of the creation itself. Christians, along with David, a writer of the ancient Psalms (OT), see the heavens proclaiming the glory of God, and believe that this God has shown that he is involved in his creation through Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we say, ‘seeing is believing’—but Jesus Christ, speaking of the truth about himself, says, “Believe... and you will see”. That certainly requires faith. But it is not unreasonable.


Explore this subject in more depth

Pray: Lord God, you made the universe, and yet you also made me, small as I am. You made me for your own joy; help me to discover the joy of knowing you in return. Amen.

Look up what Paul says about faith in the Bible in Hebrews, Romans, and Corinthians (all NT)

Watch a video clip of the band Third Day talking about faith

Watch the music video for Like a Child by Jars of Clay and read the lyrics

Watch the music video for In the Light by D C Talk

Watch the video clip Accidental Masterpiece

Read the book The Case for Faith (A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity) by Lee Strobel

Read the book Twenty-Four (Integrating Faith and Real Life - How to worship God in everything you do) by Krish Kandiah





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