Cheryl and I recently viewed “A Theory of Everything” – released in 2014 as a biographical film on the life of Stephen Hawking, the renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist from the University of Cambridge, whose body is suffering from ALS.
Years ago I read Dr. Hawking’s blockbuster book, “A Brief History of Time.” His last paragraph in the book reads like this:
“. . . if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God” – pg. 175, from the 1990 Bantam Books edition.
Don’t let Stephen’s use of the word “God” lead you to believe that he believes in God. He may. But not necessarily. And even if he does, he believes that God can’t be known and did nothing to make himself known, nor did God explain his reason for creating the universe, if indeed he did create at all. My point for this post is this:
The pursuit of a theory of everything is itself a witness that there is an explanation for our existence. We all want to know “Why”? Quite possibly then, there is an answer for everything. But a theory of everything must include, if it is to truly be a theory everything, the problem with our universe – we are dying! The Second Law of Thermodynamics instructs us that the entire universe is running down, decaying, expanding, and falling apart. Just ignore your home or your body or your lawn or your pet for one year and check the results. Furthermore, we are moral creatures with an irresistible compass that protests, “stealing my possessions out of my garage is wrong – and you should pay for your actions.” In other words, Dr. Hawking’s theory is flawed because he never included why we die and why we sin against one another. But Jesus did! Here is a Theory, excuse me, A Fact of Everything:
Jesus + 0 – 0 = Everything
It is a misguided pursuit to explain the universe apart from explaining who Jesus was, for he claimed that he was sent to rescue me from what is killing the universe and all that is in it: my sin. He does not need anything added to him, nor does he permit anything taken from him. More than postulation, the fact is, Jesus was real and really died and he really rose from the dead and was seen by hundreds of witnesses that became martyrs as they proclaimed these truths, and these martyrs were as intelligent as the philosophers of their day (Luke – a medical doctor, Paul – a lawyer and philosopher of the highest degree with a mind that rivaled Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates before him). This is why there are ten’s of thousands of Ph.D’s still to this day working feverishly to stuff Jesus back into the tomb. A Risen Lord just does not compute with their theories. But here is the irony: if Jesus was not raised why spend all this effort and money and time and research to prove it? If there really are no flying pink-polka-dotted elephants, why seek a tenure at Cambridge to prove it? Now that is a serious wasted life if I ever saw one!
This week we celebrate and exalt in not just a theory, but a reality of everything. The goal is not to know everything (that’s just plain arrogance and presumption to think that any human could achieve such a chalkboard equation), but rather to know the one who knows everything. Once that is settled, the rest of my unanswered questions can wait. O what peace and contentment there is in knowing the Risen Lord and Savior – I pray that Stephen will come to know Him who can give him a new body that will never succumb to ALS and death.