Creation, Science and Christianity

Sep 27, 2017 by

Creation, Science and Christianity

There is a way of looking at God’s Creation which is consistent with both modern science and Christianity. I used to be a science teacher. At school, I was always wanting to know how things worked, so I studied the sciences, especially physics, because it asks just that question – how does it all work? And later, as I was teaching science, I became interested in Spirituality, and I wanted to know the answers to the same question – how does it all work? I have found over the years, that a lot of the standard theological answers just don’t cut it for me, or don’t hang together properly with the world as we know it now, and interestingly, I have turned back to science for some deeper thoughts.

The book of Genesis gives us the story of the seven days of creation. In Hebrew numerology, seven is the number of perfection. Coming from about 3000 years ago, it is an epic mythological story of beginnings, framed in the understanding of the time. Our understanding now is that there was a big bang some 13.7 billion years ago, an enormous explosion which brought light energy and matter into being from some other realm of existence. ‘Let there be light’ was indeed the beginning of creation. In that moment of creation, space and time were formed, electromagnetism was formed, gravity was formed and all the rules by which the universe operates were formed – the laws of physics. And from that point, everything has evolved according to those laws of physics

But what was it that formed them? It’s the age-old question.  And why should the universe exist according to those laws? Many scientists have calculated that if those laws of physics were different by the tiniest, tiniest fraction, then stars would not have formed, planets would not exist, and the universe would be completely different. So why are those laws so finely and precisely balanced to bring forth life? That’s one thing which is perplexing scientists these days, and has been since the early days of quantum theory, back in the 1920’s.

One of the most perplexing things about quantum theory is that some form of consciousness has to exist in order for the particles of matter to come into being. It sounds totally weird, but basically, the quantum insight says that if there is no consciousness in the beginning, then particles would never have come into existence and the material world that we live in and are part of could not exist. Consciousness is the underlying reality of everything, the matrix in which everything is held.

Max Planck was one of the great scientists of all time. On accepting the Nobel prize for his study of the atom, he said:

As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you, as the result of my research about atoms, this much: “There is no matter as such!” All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force ..…. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter”

So consciousness, from a quantum physics perspective is seen as a divine matrix, the ground of being, in which all material possibilities are held in potential. Consciousness as the ‘ground of being’ sounds like another way of talking about God. The Christian understanding is that God holds everything in being, is infinitely creative, and sustains all. We can read of this in the New Testament, referring to the Christ, or Logos (word) of God

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being”. (John 1:1-3a)

This is the creative principle, the divine Word being spoken out into the universe and everything came into being from God, the ground of being. Without that divine consciousness, nothing material would exist, because, according to the laws of quantum physics, in order for any matter to exist, there has to be a consciousness observing it.

“All things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:3)

Both these verses tell us that God sustains everything in being, including space and time. So the theological concept that God sustains all things in being dovetails neatly with quantum physics that consciousness is the ground of being. We can think of God as having an immense consciousness which holds the universe in being, which is called the Godhead in Christianity. This is God as the creative principle, bringing the universe into existence and sustaining it by ‘his mighty word’, which is divine energy poured out through divine consciousness.

Where does that leave us as individuals? As the bible puts it,  ‘God’s Spirit lives in you’. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Breath (same word). God breathes us into existence, through, of course, a process of evolution. In every human being, there is a spark of God’s consciousness, the God within that is a real part of us, because we only exist within that consciousness. It could be said we are part of God. But only in as much as as a single drop of water could be said to be part of the same water as in the seas, the air and the clouds, the whole biosphere. We as individuals cannot fathom the limitlessness of the consciousness that sustains the whole of creation in being, that works through all sentient beings throughout the universe. In that sense, we are not God. So we have a paradox – we are both God and not God. We are both part of the wave field of God-consciousness, yet we are also individual beings – a quantum paradox!

Opening ourselves up to this divine drop of God-consciousness happens through spiritual experience, worship, meditation, contemplative prayer, mystical experience, and at moments of heightened reality. In these experiences, our own individual ego-selves are put aside and we become aware of the sea of God-consciousness of which we are a miniscule drop. The ultimate religious experience is of oneness with God. Anyone who has had a mystical experience of union with God will see all this as already known and accepted. The big difference is that science is now reluctantly beginning to come around to the viewpoint that spiritual people have held for millennia! There is only one, and we are part of it. Jesus used his own shorthand for this, talking about the kingdom of God, a new way of being. This was the good news he came to proclaim, that the kingdom of God was near.

Mar 1:15  Jesus said, “The time has come! God’s kingdom will soon be here. Turn back to God and believe the good news!” (CEV)

Being ‘in the kingdom’ means an awareness of being held in the consciousness of God, connected to the ground of being. The revelation that came with Christ Jesus moved us on so that we can see that this God, in whom we live and move and have our being, is also the God of love, and this consciousness which holds us all in being is a compassionate, loving consciousness.

Some of the words from John’s gospel begin to make much more sense in the light of understanding the kingdom as being at one with the consciousness of God. Jesus said:

I and the Father are one. John 10:30

I am in my father, and you in me and I in you. John 14:20

He who abides in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit.  John 15:5

They may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity. John 17:22-23

These, and many more, all point to Jesus’ understanding and experience of this divine, unitive consciousness. My view is that he was fulfilling the human potential to be one with God, and in doing so, he came from a different place to the rest of humanity at the time. But that is the awakening that is happening now, the realisation that we are all one with the One Life that holds us in being.

The message of Christianity is that, as we turn to God, as we move into an awareness of the divine presence in the depths of our being, so we grow to be more compassionate people, so we change, we are transformed into people of the kingdom of God, the image of Christ, living in the field of loving consciousness. In this way, we are bringing the whole world a little closer to living out the kingdom vision that so inspired Jesus. The words of Jesus are, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” or, to expand that a little, ‘Put first in your life the search for God’s presence within you, to find the holiness of heart and purity of life which is your true home in the divine consciousness.’

Related Posts


Share This

1 Comment

  1. Evelyn

    Thank you for explaining this in a simple fashion. I shall be forwarding this to my fellow Quakers who ‘ look for that of God in everyone’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *