LogoNNN
The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

God can act in a universe of random chaos 

ClockInHand450Oxford University Professor of Physics Paul Ewart spoke to the Norfolk Theological Society about Chaos and the Character of God in Norwich on June 11. John Myhill heard him speak.

 
Paul Ewart is Professor of Laser and Atomic Physics at Oxford University.  Speaking from his lifetime of knowledge in this field, he explained the implications of quantum mechanics for all or lives.
 
Current science shows that the Universe does not work like a piece of clockwork.  There is no predestination, no inevitability about the future.  This is bad news for those who believe we might one day be able to predict the future, bad news for those who believe that suffering is a punishment for bad actions, bad news for atheists who want to blame God when bad things happen to good people.
 
But it is excellent news for Christian who believe, as Paul clearly does, that God loves us and pours out His Grace upon us.  God gave us free will.  When we make bad choices, God is able to help us to learn from our mistakes (at least He is if we are listening).  He is able to do this because random chance makes intervention in the world possible.
 
For the Deist, living in Newtonian or even Einstein’s Physics, God set the Universe going like a clock and left it ticking.  For the Theist, God is in control of everything, including all that we suffer, but we cannot have free will.
 
For the Christian, Power (Omnipotence) is not about forcing people to do things, but about expressing love (compassion) to all creatures.  And what could be more compassionate than to enable your creation to learn that love for all creatures, to partake of the nature of God?  But the Power of Love is only possible in a universe with random chance, where creatures have free will.
 
Random chance is seen in biology in random mutations which lie at the centre of Evolution.  Atomic particles can be predicted in large numbers but the change of individuals cannot be predicted.  Climate science has given us chaos theory which emphasises the effect of random chance.  And computer viruses can be overcome by introducing chance.
 
This is a very simple presentation of a complex scientific and logical lecture.  Paul Ewart showed the range of his understanding in answering some very complex questions with great clarity and wisdom.  This kind of treat makes the Theology Society a must for anyone serious about their calling to be a priest.
 
Click here for more details of the Norfolk Theological Society programme

 


To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: web@networknorwich.co.uk