The laws that explain our physical universe were discovered by observation. The process began when careful men watched and recorded the actions of the heavens and the earth. From their observations theories were formulated that could explain the observed data. Over time these theories became well established. They were taught in universities and applied in industry. So long as they could continue to account for the discoveries of science, they garnered an ever greater respect. Eventually the theories gained the prominence of laws and received endorsement from the global scientific community. In this exalted condition of widespread acceptance these laws remained unchanged for centuries. But in 1887 the experiments of Michelson and Morley made some new scientific observations that could not be explained by any known law. These men found that if two light rays were emitted in opposite directions, both rays would travel at the same speed, even if the source of the light was moving. This was an entirely novel idea, and though light had behaved in this manner every day since the beginning of time, no one had ever noticed. Nearly 6,000 years after the garden of Eden, some of Adam’s children had made an entirely new observation and discovered something very old. This inexplicable and yet wonderful event provided an unexpected new insight, and from this new revelation, new conclusions were drawn which have revolutionized our understanding of the universe.
In 1905, Albert Einstein explained the observations of Michelson and Morley with a new and radical theory. He called it his theory of Special Relativity. This was not a new twig added to the growing tree of scientific thought. Rather, the theory of Relativity rejected the established laws of physics, declaring that they were built upon a faulty foundation. Einstein’s theory contradicted the venerable history of science. It nullified the assertions of every physicist that had ever lived, showing that their conclusions were based upon erroneous assumptions. While the scientific world disputed over two sides of an argument, Einstein declared that the argument did not exist. Though the old laws had approximated the truth for many years, they were nonetheless flawed, and were seen to be grossly inadequate when extrapolated to the extreme.
With the sweeping dismissal of the underlying assumptions came the revocation of the theories which were built upon them. In their place, Einstein’s Relativity advanced an entirely new model of the universe. It revolutionized the principles of physics and provided a new foundation for scientific thought. From this utterly new perspective, new laws were formulated and fresh predictions made. Experiments were then devised to test these predictions, and Relativity, though radical at its inception, was subsequently proven to be incontrovertibly correct.
So also is Christianity. Like the study of science, it is still largely unknown and its exploration remains in its infancy. Just as there is a single set of laws which control the interactions of the universe, so also is Christianity and there is one God who made both. It is our job as Christian researchers to discover these glorious and immutable precepts, prove them true, and apply them to our lives.
The question: When and where does learning of the ways of the Lord and His creation end? Or does it?