Einstein: Know your History

I finished reading The Trouble with Physics by theoretical physicist Lee Smolin. In this book Smolin tackles the current state of physics and its lack of progress in solving the five fundamental questions.albert-einstein It was an interesting read, though if you are not someone who tackles popular works of science I would recommend Brian Greene’s Elegant Universe first.

Toward the end of the book, Smolin laments the inability of the scientific community to jump start another series of great discoveries, like those of the early twentieth century, to help move science forward toward finding the grand Theory of Everything (TOE). He attributes this to an academic system that rewards master craftsman who don’t challenge the current theories, while also failing to promote an environment for seers to flourish. Continue reading

Vulcan Theology: On seeing what we wish to see.

After reading the title, you might be thinking this post will have something to do with Spock. Maybe you are expecting some interesting twist on how this famous character might be related to some aspect of theology. Neither would be correct.Besides, as any reader of this blog would know, I am a huge Star Wars fan with only a passing knowledge of the Star Trek universe.

I have recently completed reading (actually listening to) The Hunt for Vulcan.  It was fascinating. The book, by Tom Levenson, covers the history, and to a lessor degree the science, that began with the publication of Newton’s Principia in 1687 and ends with Einstein delivering his lectures describing general relativity in 1915.


Spock spoke these words in “The Tholian Web” which aired in 1968

One of the primary characters in the book is the famous astronomer, Le Verrier, credited with discovering Neptune. He was able to accomplish this after noticing that the orbit of the planet Uranus was not following the path that Newton’s laws of gravity required. Analyzing various data and working through numerous calculations he proposed that the cause of the erratic orbit was another planet.

And he was right. Continue reading

What do we mean when we say “God”?


This quarter we are going teaching on the Foundations of the Christian Life. We are using C. Michael Patton’s book, Now That I’m a Christian, as a guide (see review here). I also used Thomas Oden’s Classic Christianity as a reference.

This week we examined the topic of God and tackled the question: What do we mean when we say God?

A.W. Tozer (in Knowledge of the Holy) writes:

What is God like? If by that question we mean ‘What is God like in Himself?’ there is no answer. If we mean ‘What has God disclosed about Himself that the reverent reason can comprehend?’ there is, I believe, an answer both full and satisfying. For while the name of God is secret and His essential nature incomprehensible, He in condescending love has by revelation declared certain things to be true of Himself. These we call His attributes.

It would seem to be necessary … to define the word attribute …an attribute of God is whatever God has in any way revealed as being true of Himself. … If an attribute is something true of God, it is also something that we can conceive as being true of Him. God, being infinite, must possess attributes about which we can know. An attribute, as we can know it, is a mental concept, an intellectual response to God’s self-revelation.

but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me that I am the LORD – Jeremiah 9:24

In this class we primarily tackled the Essential attributes of God and how we can know them.

We come to know God by:

  • Examining His actions
    • Studying Creation (Rom 1:20)
    • Sending His Son reveals how much God loves people and wants them to be saved (John 3:16; 1 Tim 2:4)
  • Studying the statements made by Prophets
    • you cannot tolerate wrongdoing (Habakkuk 1:13)
    • I the Lord do not change (Malachi 3:6)
  • Examining the Life of Christ
    • Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father (John 12:45; 14:7-9)
    • The more clearly God is seen in Christ, the less ambiguously God is seen everywhere else. – Thomas Oden
  • Studying the Names of God
    • El-Roi (God who Sees) highlights God’s omnipresence and His care for us in troubles first used by Hagar in the wilderness (Gen 16:13)
    • Yahweh-Jirah (The Lord provides) highlights God’s care and provision for us first used by Abraham when a ram was provided as a substitute for Isaac (Gen 22:14)

Attached are the slides used in class for those that are interested (Foundations God)