Thank God For Science, Week 2 — The “Do The Math” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

Began with a Guns-N-Roses shoutout & demonstration;

Contained three more science “experiments”;

Included a very brief “I pray in tongues” confession (something I’ve done at church several times before);

An almost hidden Don Henley lyric reference (read closely!);

Concluded with a breathtaking video of the Apollo 8 astronauts reading Genesis 1 while in orbit;

Led to this bottom line: A finely tuned universe demands a Fine Tuner.  


Well, I have my friend Brady Morton and he knows I love music and he especially knows I love GUITAR music and that I was a little bit of a guitar hero back in my day, so he’s gonna play a few of my favorite riffs.  Hey Brady can you play the opening lick of Sweet Child O’ Mine?

(Which he did, ALL OUT OF TUNE.)

Wait, none of that worked!  You’ve got one string out of tune!  One of the those six, off by just a bit, and you’re not making music, you’re making a racket! (And by the way, music is at its heart mathematical, so just tuck that away.)

            Well I don’t know if you’re aware of
just how fragile the universe really is. 
I don’t know if you have heard how high the odds are stacked AGAINST us
having a universe at all, much less having the kind of universe that could lead
to the kind of creatures having this kind of conversation on the unlikeliness
of it all.  Because in so many ways and
at so many levels, if just one string of the six stinged universe was the
tiniest bit out of tune, nothing would have ever worked.  Nothing would ever be. 

            Let me show you what I mean.  I’m going to put this ice here in this
pitcher of water and like ice always does, it’s just gonna sink right to the
bottom, right?  (DO IT).  Wait! 
Ice doesn’t sink!  It FLOATS!  If I put a quarter in here, it will
sink.  If I put a marble in here, it will
sink.  Not ice. It SHOULD sink but it
doesn’t.  Ice is weird.  It turns out it has the perfectly calibrated
amount of gasses and oxygen so that it doesn’t sink, it FLOATS.  And if ice did not float in the places where
it floats (like, the poles) then life as we know it all over the world could
not exist.  Thank God for floating ice!

            Or a little bit farther out into space, here’s another experiment.  Let’s see if this shoe drops:  DO IT.  It does!  Gravity ALWAYS works, it ALWAYS wins, it’s like the Patriots; it is essentially undefeated.  But did know that if the gravitational forces were slightly different – a little stronger here or a little weaker there or a little out of tune over there – then we would have a universe full of Red Dwarves instead of healthy stars?  And, if no healthy stars, no sun, no life, no us, no this.  But because we’re here, it all works, the math all fits, the tuning of it all is so …. FINE. 

            So you’ve got ice, you’ve got
gravity, how about one more, one that speaks to the deepest recesses of space
and farthest reaches of time?  Well, did
you know that the same technology that makes THIS POSSIBLE – hold up Radar Gun!
– and, before I tell you what I’m gonna tell you, anybody here get a
ticket?  Anyone here caught with that
ticket by one of these?  You were
CLOCKED?  Anyone deserve that
ticket?  Anyone get a RADAR DETECTOR in
the aftermath of that ticket? 

            But back to the technology of it,
the tech I was gonna tell you.  The same
technology – called Doppler – that clocked you going 47 in a 30, that same
technology measures the expanding universe. 
That, according to scientists, all the matter in the universe (gasses,
heat, light, matter, anti-matter) started out in an incredibly dense point of
singularity and suddenly exploded, erupted outward.  In the first 10 to the 43rd power
of a second it erupted and it has been growing every since.  Measured by Doppler tech.  According to scientist Paul Davies, the odds
against the initial conditions at that moment so long ago being suitable for
star formation is 1 followed by a thousand billion zeroes.  Them are some long odds.

            And all the calculating, odds
beating, calibrating, measuring, FINE TUNING is not lost on God himself as he
talks to Job. 

            And you’re like JOB?!  I thought it was all about suffering!  What does it have to do with thanking God for
science?  And the answer is, especially
when you consider how the ancient mind worked, everything.  Because in the later stages of the Job, God
has been extraordinarily patient with this man from whom so much has been
taken. (The phrase the patience of Job
is not really accurate; the book is much more about the patience of God.).  For
chapter after chapter, page after page, speech after speech, Job has been
railing against God.  NOT CURSING him,
mind you, but shaking a very heavy fist at him. 
And his last question to God is in 37:24:  READ.  People honor you, God, but I’m not sure you
honor us back.  Especially the wise ones
like me

            And that final question sets the
stage for God’s thunderous answer.  Look
at 38:1: READ.  Huh.  Out of
the storm
.  Almost makes you think of
that 10 to the 43rd power second explosion.  Look what he says next in 38:2-3: READ.  You
want to take me on?  Then get ready for
battle, son, because I’ve got some questions for YOU.
  And don’t you know that when Job heard that,
he was like GULP!  Maybe getting what you
want isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when what you’ve wanted is to give God a
piece of your mind.

            And then look at 38:4a, one of the
true highlights in the enire biblical library: READ.  Where
were you
? Whoa.  Get this:  Once
there was only God
.  Him and nothing
else.  In the beginning God and he was
the before the beginning.  I realized
that, the enormity of it, and all I could do at my dining room table where I
study a bunch of this stuff was to break into praise with what Scripture calls
the tongues of angels.  Nothing else to
do but that.  Once upon a time, there was
only God.  Wow.

where were you, Job, when I was
always was? 
OMG who could possibly
answer that question?  Then after that
table setter and argument winner, God goes on in 38:4b-7: READ.  Note all the precision, all the measuring,
all the math in a pre-math world, all the tuning in a pre-tuning fork
world.  Speaking interstellar and
intergalactic truths in a language Job and his contemporaries could understand.  Where
were you when I was calibrating, calculating, and tuning?  There was only me, and then there wasn’t ONLY
me.  And now there’s not ONLY me.  I have company because I made it
I am
the only one ever able to be architect, engineer AND GC at once.

            It all works by design because it
was well designed.  You do the math and
the math works not because God is good at math but because he invented it.  He drew the plans because he is the plan.  Here’s the conclusion, here’s the reason that
I thank God for science and how all the evidence for the Big Bang is the best
news for a Genesis 1 world because it never answers the question of who lit the
fuse.  Who assembled all the parts for
the perfect eruption?  A
finely tuned universe demands a fine tuner
.  The reason this music works – play Beethoven’s
9th – is that God is author of all the harmony and the melody and
the tuning.  It works when David didn’t
at the beginning because every last string, all six of them, are perfectly in
tune because of the Perfect Tuner.

            It is fascinating to me the level to
which astrophysicists get this.  Listen
to this: READ Mastrow, Collins. P. 66

Marvelous.  Guess what?  The more we KNOW, the less we
UNDERSTAND.  We have brilliant minds among
us who know facts, study data, go as far back as they possible can … and that
journey in many cases makes them realize how in the grand scheme of things they
know nothing.  They’d been looking for
God in the realm of science only to discover he is an art. 

            Really, what I think they’ve seen is
that the odds of this incredibly precise, finely tuned universe forming without
a Form-er, are kind like the odds of leaving all these instruments up here on
the platform.  Drums, bass, keys, lead,
rhythm.  Just leave ‘em.  Turn out the lights, go home, come back in
the next morning, and they’re all playing Rock
& Roll All Night & Party Every Day
on their own. Preposterous!  Yet that’s what we’re left with if we believe
in the abundant evidence for the Big Bang and don’t take the next logical step
on and acknowledger the one who started it all. 

            And here’s even better.   Because, yes, the universe is vast,
accurate, take your breath away beauty and majesty, but what of this?  Not just life.  But human life.  There’s something called the Anthropic Principle which states that
the universe is uniquely designed, fine tuned, to give rise not just to life,
but to human life in particular.  Just
enough carbon, just enough oxygen, just enough gravity, just enough floating
ice and not sinking ice and you’ve got US. 
Listen to what the physicist Freeman Dyson says: READ, Collins

            So: not only are the intergalactic
and interstellar forces finely tuned, but so are the microscopic and
minute.  So are you. You are impeccably
made.  Finely tuned.  Please don’t hear what I am not saying: I
believe all of us are sinners who need a Savior, Jesus. Yet that’s not our
original design.  We were and are
fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Perfectly designed.  Middle C

            Where were you when God did all that?  Nowhere.  Where is he? Everywhere.  Here.  Now.  Tuning still. Even you.  When you realize just how massively small God is, won’t you break forth into awe, wonder, and praise?  REFRAIN

Here is the Apollo 8 closer:

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