How Big is Your God?

  colson2When you think of God, what comes to mind? A.W. Tozer once said, “We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.” If our ideas about God are coming from the wrong places, then our God will be too small. God’s Word, His Son, and creation give us ideas about the Creator. In Romans 1, Paul tells us that creation reveals God’s glory, but men have suppressed this knowledge.   In her latest book, Time Peace, my friend and colleague Ellen Vaughn has come up with a wonderful way to blast our too-small conceptions of God out of the water—and that is to contemplate time and light, two very complex elements of the created order.   While I can hardly do justice to her arguments in the space of a short commentary, I can say that Ellen shows us how scientific findings can enlarge our perspective of God. And she does this in an easy-to-read manner that doesn’t make the average reader’s head spin.   Ellen starts with Albert Einstein upsetting time’s applecart. As she says, “His discoveries showed us that the rate of time’s passage is not fixed, but is in fact relative to contextual elements like velocity or gravity.” Ellen tells us how in Einstein’s famous formula—E=mc²—m, that is mass, and e, that is energy, are really just two forms of the same thing. Energy is matter that has been freed. Matter is energy waiting for liberation. As she says in her down-to-earth style, “The amount of energy available in any given bit of matter—a Tootsie Roll, a stone, an atom—is the matter’s mass multiplied by the fastest velocity imaginable. That would be the speed of light or c squared.”   That means if somehow we had two twins and we were able to send one around the world at the speed of light and the other one stayed home, the one who went jet-setting around the planet would actually come back younger than the one who stayed home. Or to put it another way, if both those twins were wearing watches, the one who had been traveling at light speed would actually have a time that read earlier than the one who did not leave planet Earth.   If all this is mind-bending and perplexing, you’re not alone. But it just begins to scratch the surface of how big our God is. After all, if a being could move at the speed of light, for that kind of being, time would not move. Scriptures tell us, “God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).   As Vaughn says, “Is God light? Surely we can’t pin down the nature of God Himself, as if He can be analyzed, calibrated, or clocked. God is not an object.” She’s right. But I agree with her premise—the more we understand light and time, the more humbled and in awe we will be when we read how these biblical images are used to describe God.   Time Peace has certainly made me think more deeply about the way I think about God. I hope that as you read the book, you will discover where your ideas of God have been too small—and where your view of the time God has given you may be stunted, too.   I recommend this book. Not only is it a good read, it is also a powerful apologetic for the existence of God.    
Today's BreakPoint Offer
Ellen Vaughn, Time Peace: Living Here and Now with a Timeless God, (Zondervan, 2007).  
For Further Reading and Information
Regis Nicoll, “Light and the Nature of God,” The Point, 27 June 2007. David Efrid, “Is God in Time?” The Prosblogion, 16 June 2004.   Steve Bishop, “God, Time and Eternity,” Quodlibet Journal, Volume 6 Number 1, January - March 2004. William Lane Craig, “God and Real Time,” Leadership University, 13 July 2002.   Travis McSherley, “The Mark of Meaning: How Art and Science Point to Nature’s Creator,” Breakpoint Online, 13 October 2006. Breakpoint Commentary No. 070710, “Time Peace: A New Perspective on Time.”   Breakpoint Commentary No. 061013, “Patterns that Point to Design: A Meaningful World.”   Breakpoint Commentary No. 061024, “Opening the Door for God: Something Beyond Nature.


Chuck Colson



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