Thursday, August 18

Life, Entropy and Chaos

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. --John 1:3-4

Life. Throughout history philosophers, scientists, theologians, and even Monty Python have attempted to seek out its origin and meaning. We who are Christians believe that Jesus spoke the truth when He declared "I am the resurrection and the life." The opening passage of the gospel of John states "in [Christ] was life, the light of men." Life. I believe there is far more beneath the surface of such a word than meets the eye.

As a scientist I understand a lot about the basics of biological life. As a Christian I understand (somewhat) the basics of spiritual life. As I further my scientific knowledge, my spiritual knowledge gains additional insight. Lately I've been mulling over some passages from Schrodinger's "What Is Life?" Published in 1944, this work defines life as that which postpones entropy (i.e. decay or disorder.) Of course, life is finite. At some point all living things must die, thereby submitting their bodies to the entropy of the universe.

I've thought a lot about how to describe this scientific truth in spiritual terms. Although much of what I've concluded is theoretical at best, I believe it is a valid way of understanding God's dealings with His creation. I believe that when God created the universe, He did so by creating order out of chaos. Before sin entered the world, there was no death. Spiritual life did not succumb to decay because the heart (or soul) of mankind was in constant communication with God, who is the epitome or order. With the fall of man, death was introduced to a previously pristine world. Man was cast out of the garden of Eden, literally and symbolically thrown out of God's presence. We read in the book of Romans that the wages of sin is death. In being cut off from God our souls are unable to completely postpone decay.

God's holiness prevents Him from even looking upon us in our fallen state, however, He longs for us to be in His presence. To do that, He provided a new opportunity to restore order from chaos. He enables us to become new creations. To this end, He sent Jesus to take on the sins of mankind. In doing so, Christ endured the punishment that we deserves. Ultimately, spiritual death was now conquered. When Christ resurrected and ascended on the third day, He was still very much alive because spiritual order had been restored. When we repent of our sins and declare belief in the work done on the cross, we escape spiritual death. We are given the gift of eternal life and no longer must submit our bodies to the entropy of the universe. Spiritual decay is postponed indefinitely.

I realize that not everyone will understand the theoretical and philosophical ideas that I ponder with regard to religion and science. I know that some Christians do not even like mixing the two. If the concept of entropy as it applies to Christianity is too difficult, just remember one word: CHAOS--Christ Has All Our Solutions.

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