Rev. T.C. Hadden
The Cosmos and Man
No one man since the beginning of the cosmos as known today is closer to an accurate understanding of purpose, reason, and position than was the first man known as Adam. The assumption could be made, although scripture does not reveal the subject, that Adam had a deeper understanding of the Creator, creation, and the cosmos. However, since the disobedience that occurred in the Garden and the subsequent death by separation, humanity was thrust into a world alienated from the Source. Sentient man would now, somewhere deep within the bowels of their being, have a faint but inescapable residue of what had once been.
Humanity from henceforth would become, and is, consumed with understanding questions which cannot be answered through scientific observation and detached philosophical jargon. These questions, based upon an empty isolation magnified by the residual traces left in the spirit, would seek to reach towards understanding: Where did man come from? What is man’s purpose? How did the world come into existence? In this indefatigable search, humanity in its attempt to shed light on such questions, has produced humanistic ideologies which convolute and distort any change future generations may have in the search for the Truth.
Science, for years, has engaged in multiple speculations, postulations, hypotheses, and analyses, all vastly limited, to ascertain a better understanding of the universe and the beyond. They have, in their process of trying to understand what is considered more fundamental in physical laws, attempted to connect gravitational pull with planetary motion to come up with an explanation for the amount of gravitational attraction when there is simply not enough mass in the universe to make the equation work. Their answer, like so many other answers, is to create a mystery and give it a name, which in this instance, is called Dark Matter.
This has become the scholastic and scientific trump card in the search for universal truth and explanations of the unknown. Creation of the universe becomes the big bang but total ignorance projected on the concept of the origins of the material matter which initially exploded. Evolution follows much of the same principle in trying to ascertain the origin of life on earth. With disregard for the origins of the single celled amoeba and then the dilemma of proof since nothing can be substantiated beyond a theory, at which point, they create a mystery known as the missing-link. Mankind, as the scriptural imagery projects, will continue to “grope in the dark without light” (Job 12:25, KJV) unless they come to the simple and concrete truth; the world does not and cannot know itself.
Experience and Observation
Mankind in an attempt to understand creation has rejected the notion of a Creator, or at the very least, has often has attempted to grasp the intricacies of the cosmos without a pertinent knowledge of its Creator. Doing this, in example, is the same as attempting to explain natural light without knowledge of, detached understanding of, or denying, the existence of the sun. At best, man will live in the laboratory of cold, sterile speculation, “ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 3:7).
To grasp the cosmos, it is important to recognize that it is not a matter of science, but rather, a matter of theology. Theology is the combination of two Greek words, Theos which means God and Logia which means to study. Therefore, according to Merriam-Webster (1993), theology means: “the study of God and of God’s relation to the world.” Humanity cannot separate the cosmos from the Creator and think to understand the complexities of the universe and all that is known to reside within it, including mankind. No matter what field of study mankind delves into (anthropology, biology, cosmology, geology, and every other major field and branch of study) truth and understanding cannot be ascertained without the Word of God and the guidance of the Spirit of God, which two are intricately and inseparably aligned.
Since it is by faith, in a Christian worldview, that “we believe the worlds were framed by the Word (logos) of God” (Heb. 11:3), it is thus derived that all knowledge of the cosmos is built upon the foundation of that One True God, who, in the beginning, created and formed all that is contained in the vast expanse of the universe. Therefore, to know the created, one must first know the Creator. Yet, knowing about God is vastly different than knowing God. Sadly, in modern Christendom today, many that proclaim His name have never experienced the power, touch, and dynamic of knowing Him through the infilling of His Spirit. Instead, so many sit within the confines of self-induced prison cells of sterile, detached observation; learning about God but never actually knowing God.
An adequate analogy, to highlight the mention of Dr. Wilson’s analogy of the sun and its emanation, is as follows: If an individual was born in a location entirely void of light and then left for his or her entire life in this location it would not matter how much one could witness, teach, or emphasize the power of the sun, its warmth, and its power to this individual. In fact, one might be able to convince this creature of darkness that such a thing actually exists through written testimonies, pictures, and eye-witness accounts. However, the most the individual could ever learn in regards to the sun is through a sterile, detached position of observation through the materials, witness, and recollections of those he or she has.
However, if that individual were to receive the understanding that there was a way out of the darkness he or she was in, heard a specific call towards a specific place, and through faith in something he or she had never yet experienced, but only heard about, were to step towards and out of darkness and into the light beyond; suddenly, as the Psalmist declared, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psa. 34:8) Instantly, that which was external and objective in revelation becomes subjective to the individual. No longer does this person live in the isolated classroom of sterile and detached observation but now he enters into the laboratory of personal experience. He touches that which the light now illumines, now seen with clarity and newfound wonder. This is suddenly a world thrust into revelation that will challenge, change, and affect every part of the person’s life.
So also is the individual who is “called out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pt. 2:9) as they receive that “burning and shining light” (Jn. 5:35). Humanity, through the affective experience of the infilling of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:3-4), receives into their spirit that which, like the sun, radiates from the Source which causes and gives life to all. This effulgence (Heb. 1:3), gives sight to the blind (1 Cor. 4:4), and through this experience man is suddenly given “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Through this experience man is “quickened” (Col. 2:13), or in other words, regeneration that brings one from death (darkness and separation) to life (light and sanctification). It is interesting to note that sin and subsequent death and darkness produce separation whereas light and subsequent life also involves an act of separation. Everything in life, ultimately hinges upon this one supreme (kairos) moment.
The Condition of Man, Reason, and Revelation
When God accomplished His work of creation, as found in the account of Genesis, the summation of it all was that it was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). This encompassed all that God had made both through active formation and spoken word. The only thing declared “not good” was not to be found in what had been created but rather that which was absent; the help-meet of Adam (Gen. 2:18). When God created man, man was created in the image and likeness of God. He was created as a cognitive being with intellectual and relational abilities, which as far as can ascertained and the enigma of the serpent remaining, was in contrast to the other living creatures. Man had the ability to think and reason and thus to make moral decisions. However, contrary to much that is discussed, Adam and Eve did not know the concept of good, but rather all they knew was life. To know good would be to also know its counterpart evil. In a more accurate sense, to better describe the condition of man as it was in the Garden it is more adequately stated that they operated in the concepts of true and false.
Adam and Eve lived in an environment of objective and absolute truth. It was a world of truth and anything which contrasted in the slightest was false. Therefore, the moral consequence of disobedience stemmed from a willful choice of false. Scripture explicitly tells us that God “hates every false way” (Ps. 119,128). Literally, false is the antithesis to truth, or better stated, false is untruth. When the woman was questioned by God, “what have you done,” she responded, “the serpent beguiled (deceived) me.” The very nature of deception is to lead astray by causing one to believe what is not true. In the moment they partook of a falsehood, death occurred and subsequently, separation from God. It is important to note that they “willfully” chose the deception and thus as holds to the definition of the world, they chose to be led astray.
The very definition of astray is: “out of the right way; off the correct or known path, or route. Despite specific instructions, they went astray and got lost” (Dictonary.com). Man lost the “Way, the Truth, and the Life,” (Jn. 14:6) and thus the Revealer of the Path, the Truth, and the Source of life, which John declared “was the Light” (Jn. 1:4). God is Light (1 Jn. 1:5) whose Word is a Lamp and a Light (Ps. 119:105). Therefore, to walk in the Light (1 Jn. 1:7) is to live and thus walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25) and thus to walk in Truth (Jn. 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; 1 Jn. 4:6). Thus the present condition of man without the Spirit of God is one that is lost.
Man gropes in darkness, regardless of all of his cognitive abilities, until he receives a subjective revelation of the only Way out. It is the voice of Truth that calls and it is Truth which stands as the door and it is Truth which reveals the True Way. This is only possible through the infilling of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth. It is that Light which shines in darkness (2 Cor. 4:6) which causes a metamorphosis from death to life. In that moment children of false become children of truth.
“Except a man be born again,” Jesus declared to Nicodemus “he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). It is an affective experience that will always confound the wisdom of man. When the Light shines and Truth appears it is at that moment revelation occurs on a personal level. The success on eternal implications is bound by a relational understanding of the reception of such Truth. One must have a “love for the Truth” (2 Th. 2:10). Anything that stands in contrast to Truth must be rejected, denied, and even, crucified.
Therefore, it is important to understand, as seen in the disciples and the crowd which was obedient to the mandate of Christ to “tarry in Jerusalem for the power,” that it was one thing to know He was the Truth but it was another thing entirely to know that Truth through personal experience through the infilling of the Spirit of Truth, that True Light, the True Vine, and ultimately the True God. This worldview is true and it is the only worldview that works. Thus in conclusion: “…Let God be True and every man a liar…” (Rom. 3:4a).