…and this is why The Master’s University exists. And there’s no issue we don’t tackle with the word of God at our side because all that we need to know is contained therein. And when it comes to these things, which seem to confuse so many people, scientific things, creation issues, they don’t confuse us at all because we accept the veracity of the word of God. So this is a great event, but it’s more just a Saturday event, because I’m going to introduce something to you now that I want you to know about.
We are introducing a new resource called Math3ma Institute and this is Tai-Danae Bradley’s brain child in every possible way. So exciting. She will be supported by Dr. Monica Vroman, who is sitting by her over there, PhD in Machine Learning from Rutgers. She joined our faculty last year. Teaches computer science and machine learning and engineering computer science department. But Tai-Danae, the first time I met her in my office and we had any conversation, I said, “If you could do anything with your life, what would you want?” Remember what you told me? You’d want some kind of a think tank where Christian mathematicians could come together and share and provide insights. And she’s already been writing a blog, I don’t know how many years you been writing the blog. Six years on Math3ma. And so now that’s going to be folded into the Math3ma Institute. The Institute will publish work by the entire science engineering and mathematics community at TMU, including faculty and advanced undergraduates.
The official name of the institute is the Math3ma Institute for Advanced Research and Mathematics, Engineering and Computation. That will be on the quiz. Dr. Bradley, mathematician trained as you already know, City University of New York and joining our faculty as a visiting research professor of mathematics and the executive director of Math3ma Institute and beginning with next year’s Theotech Conference, the event will be hosted by the Math3ma Institute and plan to make it an annual event. They’re going to be publishing an journal of advanced research in the STEM field, science, technology, engineering, and math, with the first issue already in production and schedule it for February of 2022 will be available in hard copy and online. There are books planned.
The purpose of the institute is simple, to glorify the genius of God in Christ through the publication of high quality research in the STEM fields in a way that is accessible for the intelligent layman. Intelligent is the operative word. Our audience is not academics, our audience is thinking Christians, educated or not, interested in deeper understanding of the handiwork of God in creation and in the scientific and technological genius that he designed and bestowed upon mankind at creation. The name Math3ma comes from the Greek word that which is learned and of course is where the English word mathematics come from. People interested in Math3ma are called math-eats not to be confused with athletes. And mathatria means disciple in the New Testament.
Well, we are happy to introduce the The Math3ma institute today. This is going to be an incredible, incredible resource, nothing like it. She already has a massive number of people who follow her in the math world and we’re so happy to enlarge the platform as much as we can here at The Master’s University. So thank you Tai-Danae, for giving us that privilege and being a part of our team here. We’re thrilled to have you and your father as well, on our staff.
All right. So it’s left to me to straighten out all the things that you’re still confused about scientifically and mathematically, which would be way beyond my pay grade. That’s for sure. But I come to you from the perspective of the word of God. But I think if we genuinely think biblically and within the parameters of biblical revelation we can use the things that are in the Bible to even understand the things that the Bible doesn’t specifically speak about.
So let me begin the subject of Christ and creation from a secular perspective. According to space.com, the BBC has recently confidently affirmed that the universe came into existence 13.8 billion years ago in a big bang, not 13.9, but 13.8 billion years ago. Subsequent to that came human life. And they’re bold to proclaim that human life came by chance. They even mark it as one in a trillion trillion. That’s the odds of human life appearing after the big bang. Only after the earth came to exist, did all the creatures come to exist. Finally, the humans, and finally you. Only after the exact sperm and egg cell needed to create you with the DNA sequence that brought you into existence, which chance is one in 250 million for the sperm alone, apart from the egg. And that needed to happen constantly and incessantly, in an unbroken chain of millions of generations of your ancestors, until it happened again by chance and created you. Obviously such a scenario stretches and strains credibility to the breaking point. It’s equal to stupidity.
But evolution is built on a myth and the myth of evolution, primary dominant myth of evolution is chance. Someone said, “Chance is the new pillow for science to lie down on.” But the truth is that irrational explanation would keep a rational person awake all night. The myth of chance. Chance was once a word restricted to describing mathematical probability or mathematical quotients. It was broadened to include any unpredictable event, any kind of probability or coincidence. But be clear, chance in itself is nothing. In itself it is nothing. It is a word to describe something else, other forces, other realities. But evolution has transformed chance into force, into a power. It’s been elevated to be the greatest force in the universe. The greatest power in the universe. Chance is the power that created everything. That took nothing and turned it into everything, chaos and turned it into order, irrationality into coherence, causelessness into all effects. In fact, in an evolutionary world, chance is the creator.
And of course, logic abandoned loves myth because if you abandon logic, all you have is myth. And the essence of myth cosmology is random, mindless nothing being the power of creation of what is fixed law and rational reality. The enemies of myth, cosmology and empirical, are empirical data and reason, which is the essence of pure science. If you neutralize either data or reason, you have enthroned myth. And that is exactly what scientists have done to avoid God. And they have created a kind of hopeless schizophrenia.
Why does rational man do this? There’s a Hungarian Jewish author in the 20th century named Arthur Koestler. He committed suicide with his third wife, I don’t know if she contributed to it, but he committed suicide with her. And this was his quote, famous quote, “As long as chance rules, God is an anachronism.” If chance rules, God is not sovereign. And if God is not sovereign, God is not God by definition. But chance is not a force. Chance is nothing. It has no power to do anything. It can’t be the cause of anything. It can’t be the power behind anything. It can’t be the force that produces anything. Yet modern science is attributed incomprehensible power to chance. This is hocus pocus, violating law, science, logic, reason and the creative Latin phrase, ex nihilo fit, out of nothing, nothing comes.
When scientists attribute instrumental means to chance they have affirmed absurdity. 1967 Nobel Laureate, George Wald, who died I think in 1997, he said this, “One has only to wait. Time itself performs the miracles. Given so much time, the impossible becomes possible. The possible becomes probable and the probable actually certain.” So that’s how chance operates. Chance is a force that operates if there’s enough time. That in itself is an absurdity postulated by a man who was hailed one of the greatest scientists in the world.
Earlier, you heard a little bit of discussion about quantum theory and it’s always interested me as a layperson for sure, talking about these things. Quantum theory has been something that I have read a little bit more on than the other aspects of science. Max Plank, in 1900, presented of the idea that energy comes in discreet units called quanta. In 1920 Werner Heisenberg, German physicist, found that when a photon strikes in atom boosting an electron into a higher ordinance, which you were talking about, the electron moves from the lower to the upper orbit simultaneously without having traversed the intervening space, the electron simply ceases to exist at one point and simultaneously appears that another, out of that came to quantum leap. Now let me say that again, goes out of existence here, appears there and never traverses the space in between. How is that possible? What is the power that makes that happen? There is no scientific explanation for that, hence the confusion in being able to explain it. But I believe the reality that explains that is what the Scripture says about Christ, who upholds all things by the word of his power.
There’s a divine reality that holds all atomic energy together. God is in the gaps. Divine power. Chance, and time can’t produce anything. In fact, how do you even have time without anything else? You heard mention Von Neumann, who generated what was known as Von Neumann Machine. He said, “The perfect machine would be self generating, self repairing, and self reproducing, but nobody could ever produce it. It would be too complicated.” However, that’s exactly what every living cell is. Self-generating, self preparing and self reproducing, and God has made them in countless ways and amounts.
Think back to middle ages and you will perhaps remember that theology had a queen and the theology of queen, the theology offered a queen to the sciences. That was said that theology is the queen of the sciences. In other words, theology rules science. If you don’t have God, you have nothing but these absurd explanations. It provided the only rational basis for the existence of anything. Anything. And you’ve already heard from Dr. Chao, the account of Genesis. That is a rational account. That makes perfect sense. You also perhaps remember Exodus three where God says, “I Am that I Am.” That there was never a time when God did not exist. He is self existent, self sufficient and sovereign.
Even in the beginning of Genesis where the I Am acts and creates, there is a breadth of revelation in the first verse that’s pretty stunning. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Herbert Spencer died in 1903, said there were five categories of the knowable, and this was his thinking and sort of categories. He said, “There’s time, force, action, space, and matter.” And those are the five categories of everything. Everything fits into those five categories, time, force, action, space, and matter. Genesis 1:1, in the beginning, that’s time, God, that force, created, that’s action, the heavens, that’s space, and the earth, that’s matter. So the first verse of the Bible covers all the categories.
We have only one account, as I said earlier, of the creation and that is the account of the creator. And he spoke in intelligent words. Far from the ridiculous notion that nobody times nothing equals everything. Far from the absurdity that chance, which is nothing, becomes the power of creation. Far from the irrational notion that time existed before there was creation. There’s only one reasonable reality and that is that God is, and God is the creator. And with that, it’s kind of an introduction, I want to talk to you from John chapter one, as I was asked to do.
A wonderful familiar text, just the opening five verses. So let me read those to you. I know you know them well. “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 apart from him, nothing came into being that has come into being. In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Here we’re introduced to something very significant. The creator is identified as the word, as the word. The word, three times in verse one, was God, was with God, was in the beginning with God. All things were created by the word. In the word was life and the life was the light of men.
You don’t really have any explanation in the text as to why the word is used the way it is and that’s because it was very familiar to the reader of the New Testament, both Jews and Greeks. Greeks were familiar with it. They knew that the logos, which they identified as some abstract, supernatural, impersonal power and mind, was behind creation. The Jews knew what the Old Testament said. Psalmist in Psalm 68:32-33, “Sing to the Lord oh king of the earth. Sing to God, king of the earth. Sing praise to the Lord, to him who rides upon the highest heavens. And in this behold, he speaks forth with his voice, a mighty voice.”
God created with his voice, with his word. I love Psalm 29 reading from the Legacy Standard Bible. “The voice of Yahweh is upon the waters. The glory of God thunders. Yahweh is over many waters. The voice of Yahweh is powerful. The voice of Yahweh is full of splendor. The voice of Yahweh breaks the Cedars, indeed Yahweh breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf and Syria like a young wild ox. The voice of Yahweh hews out flames of fire. The voice of Yahweh causes the wilderness to tremble. Yahweh causes the wilderness of Cadesh to tremble. The voice of Yahweh makes the deer to calve and strips the forest bare. And in his temple, everything says glory. Yahweh sat and thrown over the flood. Indeed Yahweh sits as king forever. Yahweh will give strength to his people. Yahweh will bless his people with peace.”
You notice, instead of the word Lord, the Legacy Standard Bible uses Yahweh because in Exodus three God says, “That’s my name. And that name is I am.” The eternally existing one speaks everything into existence by his voice and sustains it all by his voice. Second Samuel 22:14 says, “The Lord thundered from heaven and the most high uttered his voice.” And what we know by this is that the creator is a communicator. The creator possesses reason, cognition, massive intelligence, wisdom, and incomprehensible power.
In ancient times, even common people in the Greek world understood the logos as some kind of powerful force behind what existed. The Jews knew it was the word of the Lord behind all that was created. So John presents the truth that the creative power, the creative force, the creative wisdom is not an impersonal reality, but a personal God who came into the world and the man Jesus. Down in verse 14, “The word became flesh and dwelt among us. And we saw his glory glory as the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The word of the Lord is a significant Old Testament theme. The word of the Lord comes again and again and again and again, because God speaks. God is a speaking God, which means he is intelligent. He is a communicator. The word of the Lord was from God, his communication, coming with power to bring into existence, whatever his will desired. By his word, God has spoken and all that exists is into existence by that voice. He has spoken again in his word. And as Hebrew says, he’s spoken again in his son, revealing himself in his creation, in his revelation and in the incarnation of the son of God. All of it is God speaking. This is so very, very important. Even from the vantage point of science.
Listen, what precedes the creation of anything and the function of anything is information. Information. Wallace Henley has written an interesting new book on artificial intelligence in which he asks the question Who Will Rule the Coming Gods? The thesis of the book is that the godless society are going to create machines that are going to take the place of God. So he asks the question, Who Will Rule the Coming Gods? In that book, he talks about the role that information plays in bringing anything thing into existence. And I thought this section was worth reading for you.
Listen to this. “During the Second World War, great effort was made to break the enigma code used by the Germans to pass secret information. A code breaking project was established at Blechley Park in Buckinghamshire England. The goal of Alan Turing in his team was break the code the Germans change daily through the enigma device, which could configure messages in 150 million million million ways. The Blechley machines existed only because the information coded and transmitted through enigma already existed. Thus, in the sequence of data processing, there was the primacy of information. The information called forth the existence of the machines, the devices and systems at Blechley didn’t initiate the data, but processed and made sense of it. The data had to come first. The machines existed because the information was already there.”
“By the same principle, artificial intelligence can accumulate and process data and even enlarge its knowledge base. But it does so not by creating new bits of information, but by gathering the information already present. The AI machines exist because the information exists.” And then he says this.
“Again, all of this makes even more stunning the Bible’s revelation that in the beginning was the word and that nothing was made that was made without the word. The Greek logos translated in the English Bible as word. But just that word word doesn’t capture the scope of the meaning of the Greek logos. For example, Heraclitus said logos refers to the ordering principles of the universe. But what was it that had to be ordered, if not the enumerable bits of quanta or information? What was the origin of the information?”
“Imagine the engineers building artificial intelligence machines, the technicians program the information into the box based on what they and others know in their own brains, information and is ultimately intelligence and intelligence arises from the minds with the capacity of reflection and reason, which means person. Therefore, if information exists prior to creation, if information is intellectual data known in a mind, and if a reasoning mind is an attribute of person, then who is person who exists prior to the universe who possesses logos and is logos and infuses into the void the information that will bring the cosmos into existence? Answer is God. Remember that in the absence of a creator, the skeptic would have to believe that the universe created itself. Having first created the information by which it created itself.”
One final paragraph. “Therefore the AI phenomenon gives us a backdoor proof or apologetic of God’s existence. As the first AI machine could not have brought itself into existence, but required a creator acting with information in his mind, so the vast quantum computer that is the universe could not have brought itself into existence without something transcendent to itself who could infuse it with information.”
When John said what he said about the word, he was saying something very, very profound. The word, the information had to come first. In the beginning was the word. He existed in the beginning. And the word was with God. The word was God. He was in the beginning with God. God is eternal, immutable, pure, eternal being. He is not becoming because he never changes as all his creatures are, who all change. The eternal God is just that, eternal. And he is a mind, a reasonable mind, a revealing mind. He speaks. And he actually dwelt among us, love that. In verse 14, “He became partaker of our human flesh.”
So looking at this a little more closely, let me give you three things to think about. We see in verse one that everything that was made, was made by the word. The incarnate word is Christ and he gets that name because he is a God who speaks and has spoken in his son. He spoke everything into existence, as we know from Genesis one, but there are three very basic realities about God that are laid out for us in this section. I’ll just remind you of them. First of all, his preexistence. In the beginning was the word in the beginning, refers to Genesis 1:1. In the beginning, the word was already in existence. Jesus Christ already in existence when creation began, he is not a created being. He was there in the beginning, verse two, when everything was created. This describes continued existence before creation, eternal preexistence of the one called the word.
John didn’t use ginomai, he didn’t become anything. He always was. The one who always was, in his incarnation, verse 14, became flesh. But in his nature, he is pure, everlasting and eternal being. That is why his name is I Am. I Am. Jesus in John 8:58 said, “Before Abraham was, I Am.” Colossians 1: 17 says of Christ, “He was before all things and by him all things consist.” He was there. He was with God in the beginning, this emphasizes his preexistence.
Secondly, John points to his coexistence. He was was God, he was God. In his preexistence, the word was God, a very powerful Greek expression, pros ton theon, face to face with God. That is to say intelligent, personal fellowship on an equal level. And you’re aware of all the portions of Scripture that affirm the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly God. He is not an attribute of God. He is not an emanation from God. He is not a creation of God, but he is a person who was God and was with God. In fact, in the Greek, it says theos a logos, God was the word, full deity. “In him all the fullness of deity dwells,” Paul says to the Colossians.
So we have to see when we look at this word, this intelligent one who created everything that he preexisted his creation, because intelligence has to preexist the creation of anything. He is God, fully God and truly God and with God in the same sense. So you have preexistence, which is his eternality. You have coexistence, which is his equality.
And then thirdly, and this is versus three through five, you have self existence. “All things came into being through him and apart from him nothing came into being that has come into being.” That’s true because in him was life. He is self existing. He is the uncreated one, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever. All things came into being because of him. That’s a positive declaration, simple, clear, flawless proof of the eternal nature of the Lord as God. This doesn’t deny God as creator, doesn’t deny the Spirit as creator. The whole entire trinity is involved in the creation. The creation is by the triune God, as you know, and there are plenty of passages to speak to that.
Then the negative declaration after the positive one, all things came into being through him is positive and the negative is apart from him, nothing came into being that is coming to being. Not even one thing literally exists that he didn’t create. And this is the only thing that makes any sense, because you have to have information before you can have creation. If you have nothing, then you have nothing creating the information it needs to create the creation. That’s insane. So he is the life, such an powerful statement. In verse four, “In him was life.” It proceeded from him. Everything that lives receives life from him. Massive, massive statement. Life here is zoa, not bios, it’s all kinds of life, not just biological life, but life in every sense, physical and spiritual. He has life in himself. He didn’t receive life. He wasn’t given life. Life is in him. This is referred to by theologians as the aseity of God, of Christ or the self existence.
Now you either have a self existent God or you have a self existent set of information without a mind and without a person. That’s impossible. You can’t have nothing and out of nothing comes the information that creates everything because nothing is nothing. The truth, the reality, the information has to preexist the creation. Self existent, eternal God who speaks, spoke creation into place.
Everything in the world is becoming, making little contrast, everything is becoming God is not becoming God is being, he is pure, eternal being. Everything else is becoming. Everything else is changing, changing, changing. It distinguishes the creation from the creator. Fundamental reality of all reality, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Most important truth and most assaulted truth. Get rid of creation and you are rid of the creator and therefore you’re rid of accountability to him. You don’t have to face his judgment.
That’s why I said what Dr. Chao said earlier that the litmus test does any person as to their fidelity to the word of God is what their view of Genesis 1:2-3 is. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe the Bible or you don’t believe that the right hermeneutics, the right interpretation principles could be applied to the Bible because you’re applying something else to Genesis 1:2-3 that is unrelated to a legitimate way to interpret Scripture.
And if you fall at the beginning, you are likely to fall a lot of other places. If for some reason, maybe pressure from peers or whatever, you decide that you’re not going to stand for the creation account then you have declared yourself a higher authority than God and susceptible to any other doctrine that you can be pressured to reject.
God is the I Am. That is why God wanted his name to be known to us. He says in Exodus three, “My name is I am Yahweh.” And then he says, “It’s my memorial name, it’s the name I want to be known by.” That Hebrew term, Yahweh appears 6,800 times in the Old Testament, but in the Bible that you have, you’ll never see it because it’s not translated. Instead it’s translated with the word Lord, which is a different Hebrew word Adonai. So even in English translations, we’ve obscured the name of God and therefore 6,800 times in the Old Testament, God is not being able to communicate the name by which he wants to be and that is as the eternal I Am.
The Jews understood that. That’s why they killed Jesus because he claimed to be God. Acts 17:28 says, “It’s in him we live and have and move and have our being.” And we don’t have time to develop all this. But verse four says, “The life was the light of men.” While some distinction obviously exists between life and light here they are inseparable. Life becomes the light. The life is the manifest of divine truth. The light is the darkness displaced with truth. The light combines with life for the purpose of clarity. God’s life shines like holy light against the darkness of sin. And the darkness did not comprehend. It literally did not overpower it. We know the darkness did not overpower it because we have in our hands the revelation of God as to the truth of the life and the light.
So when you think about the role that Christ played in creation, you go to this simple passage, we’ve just touched lightly on it. And you recognize that it affirms that you have to have information before you have creation. Information means intelligence, intelligence means a mind, a mind means a person and the person has to be someone who is preexisting, someone who is transcendent, and that leaves you with God and God alone. There’s a reason why Genesis one is under attack, because if you can wipe God out at the first very opening of Scripture, you can be done with all the rest.
So John gave this an unparalleled look in just those few verses, at not only the deity of Christ, but the fact that he is the divine revelation that brought everything into existence and in the revelation of God, in creation and in the spiritual realm, he has provided the light of salvation that extinguishes the darkness. So you can’t separate the creation account from the gospel. The light of men is the gospel. The light shining in the darkness is the light shining against the blackness of sin. The same one who created everything is the one who shines gospel light into the darkness. You wouldn’t want to tamper with Genesis one, nor would you want tamper with John one. These two accounts, give us all we need to know. God created by speaking. Christ, the word created everything that existed by speaking. And he spoke and life came into existence, including spiritual life, which comes like light in the darkness to deliver men from sin and death and judgment.
> Father, we thank you for the time that’s been spent today thinking through these things and you remember the words of our Lord in John 8:24, “I say to you that you will die in your sins, for unless you believe that I Am he, you will die in your sins.” To reject the fact that you are the I Am, the preexisting, coexisting, with God, self existing eternal one. We must believe that. So writer of Hebrew says, “He that comes to God must believe that he is.” And we must believe in the true God, triune God, Son and savior as creator and Redeemer, or we will die in our sins. A Jesus that is less than the preexisting, coexisting, self existing, eternal God is not the savior and redeemer of sinners. We would not want to diminish his glory or your glory Father, by denying anything that you rightly revealed about yourself. And especially the foundational reality of creation. We acknowledge you as creator. We acknowledge you as savior. And we are in awe of the fact that you and the massive work of creation already had us in mind because you chose us before the foundation of the world. You chose us to be in Christ. You chose us for justification, you chose us for sanctification, and you chose us for glorification. You had determined not only to create the universe and to create it as a theater of sorts in which the drama of redemption would play out on the earth as you gathered your chosen as a bride for your son. And we were included. This is profound mystery. How could we ever imagine that it had anything to do with us when we were chosen in him before the foundation of the world? And you have reached down to enlighten our hearts with the truth, open our minds, raise us from spiritual death. You have enabled us to repent and believe the gospel, and therefore to enter into that salvation, which you prepared for us before the world began. We desire to be faithful to exalt your name and to worship you until we see you face to face. We long for that and for that perfect worship. May we be faithful, may we be obedient, may we be joyful, thankful to the degree that we proclaim the glories of Christ far and wide. It’s in his name we pray. Amen.
Dr. John MacArthur is the chancellor of TMUS, former president for 35 years, and senior pastor-teacher at Grace Community Church for 52 years. The voice of the national and international radio and television ministry Grace To You, which airs over a thousand times daily in English and Spanish in 27 countries. Author or editor of over 150 books on Christian theology, ethics and living, and biblical exposition and doctrine that have been translated into over 2 dozen languages, including commentaries on every book of the New Testament, the MacArthur Study Bible, which has been translated into 5 languages with millions of copies in print, as well as The Battle for the Beginning (Thomas Nelson, 2012) and Before Abraham: Creation, Sin, and the Nature of God (Thomas Nelson, 2008).
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