Over the years, as I have taught on the significance of worldview for our lives and for the creation of godly culture, I have always touched briefly on how God created. In fact Genesis 1 reveals that God created the universe by speaking words. He spoke words to create “And God said” – Genesis 1: 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26; He spoke words to identify what he had created – “God called” – Genesis 1:5, 8, 19; And He spoke word to commission his vice regents for the Cultural Mandate – “God said” – Genesis 1:28-29.
This theme is reflected in Psalm 33:9: “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” Note that the universe “came to be” through the word of God. And again in Hebrews 11:3: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (See also Psalms 147: 15, 18; 148: 5-6, and 2 Peter 3:5.)
The invisible God created the visible universe. To a materialist, who does not acknowledge the invisible world, this is impossible. By definition, nature is all that exists. And something cannot come from nothing. But the universe did not come from nothing. It was conceived in the mind, intended by the will and spoken into existence though the word of God. Before the universe there was not “nothing;” there was an infinite, personal God. And who exactly is the Word that was at the beginning and who made the universe? He is none other than Jesus Christ:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men…. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth John 1:1-4, 14.
People around the world who achieve secondary education are taught Darwinian science and the atheistic framework that forms the base of evolutionary or naturalistic science. So when Christians witness to God speaking the creation into existence, secularists write them off as fools. This is a great loss. The secularists do not hear the arguments for the First Principle, i.e.that the invisible God produced the visible universe. In fact whole nations are impoverished and enslaved by their embrace of the modern and post-modern paradigms.
That introduction brings me to this question: what language did God use to speak the universe into creation? He used the language of mathematics. Physicists, chemists, astronomers, and now even biologists are discovering that the DNA code is the language of the building blocks of the living organisms of our world.
Our friends Nancy Pearcey and Charles Thaxton help us understand these things in their fine book, The Soul of Science where they write, “The history of mathematics was decisively shaped by its interaction with Christianity” by the beliefs that “the world has an ordered structure because God made it; that humans made in God’s image can decipher that order.” The primary order, the language of creation, is mathematics.
Others have articulated the same concept. Here is a post on the subject by Kate Deddens.
From the DNA and genome research, we now understand, empirically, that math is the language of creation. There can be no doubt that there is a Divine Code Maker, despite the weak objections of naturalistic science. In light of the evidence, it is the atheist and pantheist who must have the stronger faith.
A number of years ago, I was fascinated with the work people were doing to find a unity of art and science, and of math and music. I read two books on the subject that failed to discover a unity of math and music … because they began with man and not God. Indeed, they could not have succeeded without a grasp of the trinitarian character of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty found in the Godhead. God is both the First Mathematician and the First Artist. This is reflected in human beings who are made imago Dei. The Bible speaks of head and heart. Neurological theory speaks of left brain and right brain. Left brain refers to objective reason and analysis, right brain to intuition, i.e. subjective reflection. In short, both biblical and neurological language supports human capacity for the analysis of math and science, on the one hand, and on the other, the creativity of music and art.
C.S. Lewis describes how God, at creation, established a unity of math and music, and art and science. In his book, The Magicians Nephew, Lewis captures the means of creation as Aslan, the Christ figure, sings the universe into existence the mathematical language of a symphony. If you have read The Narnia Chronicles, you will understand why I uttered, when I read these stories in my mid twenties, “I have never lived until now!”
Here is how Lewis remarkably captures the account of creation in Genesis 1. He deftly grasps the intersection of math and music.
In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it. The horse seemed to like it too; he gave the sort of whinny a horse would give if, after years of being a cab horse, it found itself back in the old field where it had played as a foal, and saw someone whom it remembered and loved coming across the field to bring it a lump of sugar.
“Gawd!” said the Cabby. “Ain’t it lovely?”
Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the Voice was suddenly joined by other voices, more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices. The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. They didn’t come out gently, one by one, as they do on a summer evening. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out: single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world. There were no clouds. The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves who were singing, and that it was the first Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing.
“Glory be!” said the Cabby. “I’d ha’ been a better man all my life if I’d known there were things like this.”
… to be continued