The nice thing about having a blog is that one can write and publish whatever one wants to, without having to go through peer reviewers, editors, or publishers. The bad part of that is that one can end up posting garbage. I don’t think I have posted too much garbage to date, and this is mostly because of the fact that I pass everything through one judge, my wife and chief editor, Aniko Albert. She has (always wisely) discouraged me from posting quite a few essays that were not really up to par. So this means if you don’t like something here, don’t blame me, blame Aniko.
I fully expected her to nix this post, since its pretty silly, and has some stuff toward the end that’s probably not only scientifically absurd, but pretty bad theology as well. But she just made a few comments, and let it go. She did point out that I should re-read NT Wright’s Simply Christian, which provides a convincing debunking of my entire premise. My response was, when it comes to theology, who are you going to believe, NT Wright or me? She laughed appropriately. So, here it is, for better or for worse
I think this is not the only universe. So far I am merely in stride with modern scientific theories (the multiverse and all). Except I am not thinking so much of a multiverse as maybe a duoverse. Maybe there are more, but let’s stick with two for the moment.
Our universe is one of them of course, and the other….(well, goodbye science, here is where we part company) the other one is the Kingdom of God. Or Heaven.
Just as some folks think that the laws of physics might be different in other universes, the laws of physics are also different in the Kingdom. There are none. No laws of physics, no laws of anything except the law of God.
Genesis starts with “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”. It has struck me that this a remarkable sentence. I have heard it said that God is timeless, but if that were true then the sentence would read “At some particular time, God created…’ By specifically identifying the time of creation as “in the beginning,” the author is assuming a beginning of time, before which there was… well, there was no before which. This is consistent with the scientific cosmological approach to time and the origin of the universe. God was not around either “before” the creation, since there was no before, so then the question (often asked by atheists) is where did God come from?
There is only one answer: somewhere else, another universe that existed before the creation of this one. And despite the scientific fact that universes are wholly independent of each other (at least in theory), somehow God reached out from His universe, the Kingdom of Heaven, and created this one.
We know a lot about our own universe, even though the amount of stuff we still don’t know is vastly greater than what we do know. The main thing we know about our universe is that it is lawful. Nothing can happen in our universe that goes against the laws. Light cannot go faster (or slower) than its fixed speed, time cannot go backwards, and we cannot travel in time. (Sorry, Syfy fans.) Heat cannot flow from cold to warm, and you cannot make a perpetual motion machine. And so on.
I believe that this universe of natural and moral laws was created by God, and so did all the early scientists, most of whom believed that by probing into those laws, they were learning about God’s creation.
As far as the Kingdom of Heaven (KOH) universe, we cannot know anything, so whatever I say about it is pure speculation. And since my theory is that the KOH is devoid of natural laws, there is nothing at all scientific about these speculations. In the KOH, God rules by fiat. Whatever God chooses to happen happens. Water can flow uphill (no law of gravity), living beings in that universe can live forever (no second law of thermodynamics), and miracles are simply part of the natural order.
So aside from God, who else lives in the KOH? We do, of course, after we die. There is plenty of room, since there are billions of planets in the KOH, each just like Earth, or to be more precise each just like California (without the earthquakes and drought). Paradise, in other words. Perfect weather all the time. No disasters (no tectonic plates), no harmful germs, no poisonous snakes or spiders. Everything is perfect, because God continually makes it so.
If this seems like a foolish fantasy, of course it is. OTOH, consider some resorts here on Earth. With enough resources of energy, labor, money, etc. we mere humans can easily build centers of paradise, where all desires and needs are met, and where people can escape the dangers and hardships of the “real” world. With a magical universe like the KOH, with a loving all-powerful God in charge, such a paradise can be real and unending.
Mark Twain, as brilliant as he was skeptical, would have had (and did have) something to say about the KOH. In his story “Captain Stormfield goes to Heaven,” Twain mused about how people would pass the time in a paradise, where everything was perfect, forever. Twain had some humorous ideas about this “problem,” but never came up with a good solution.
I think that the actual reality of the KOH is beyond our grasp. My guess is that when we arrive there, we will find that our souls and minds and even our bodies were operating on a tiny fraction of what they can do. And whatever that might be, in the KOH we will finally be able to do, see, understand, appreciate, and enjoy all of the hidden splendors of our existence and of God’s amazing gifts.
Getting back to Professor Wright, I will admit that his ideas about Jesus Christ bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to be built by us right here on this planet in this universe are probably a lot better than my duoverse idea, which has a lot of holes. I guess we will need to wait (hopefully for quite some time) to find out which of us was wright…(I mean right). Until then, all I can say is the next post will be better (I hope).
I like the duoverse idea, but I still imagine a timeless KOH – just one eternal best of times, and no passing moments to be bored.
I think you are probably right, Sheila, or better, I have no idea
Hugh Ross suggested something similar in his book “Beyond the Cosmos” (NavPress, 1996). The difference is that Hugh Ross put God and the New Creation (aka Kingdom of Heaven) in the proposed extra dimensions of this universe.
And I am sure that Hugh was more serious than I am about this, and probably more right. Who knows. Thanks for the comment, Paul.
Ross was more Wright. I have to admit, though, that I have often thought of the KOH as an alternate universe with different laws and/or constants than ours. The law of entropy is overcome by the presence of the Lord, who provides eternal light and love. There is of course the need to translate from our dimensional representation into the KOH’s, which just takes a little linear algebra.
Thanks for the interesting thoughts,
Thanks for commenting, Chris, and its great to see you here. I admit I have long been fascinated by the idea (pretty common among physicists) that our laws or in any laws may not be universal (in the literal sense of the word). And the idea of a magical universe where there are no laws is somehow attractive. And, Im pretty sure God can handle the algebra required, even if I cant.
Sy, this brings to mind the Wood Between the Worlds that Lewis described in The Magician’s Nephew. It’s a wonderful thought, and one that I have pondered on and discussed with a friend before. For now, I try and get ever more familiar with that wonderful future home of ours by doing what I can to bring hints of the Kingdom of Heaven here to earth, through Christ’s grace. Lord knows we need more of that in this world right now.
Peace, my friend.
I think that is the right approach, Ethan. But I am thrilled that anything I wrote reminded of you Lewis. Peace to you