March 21, 2016

Jesus and the Goldilocks Effect

by Clint Archer

Once upon a time there was a girl named Goldilocks…you know the rest. With her insufferable nonchalance for private property, she samples a hijacked bowl of loot and declares it overheated. The next was unappetisingly tepid. But the third offering was deemed to be just right.

Like our picky little porridge connoisseur, cosmologists who explore our planetary neighborhood have also encountered an unexpected unique state of copacetic conditions. Our pale blue dot of a planet is the only chunk of real estate we know of that boasts an inexplicably perfect balance of temperature, gravity, atmospheric pressure, galactic location, solar proximity, axis tilt, rotation speed, and countless other marvels of serendipity. In short, Earth is the only known habitat for humanity that can be confidently described as just right.

Cosmologists, despite their proclivity for abstruse nomenclature, refer to this unparalleled equilibrium rather quaintly as: “the Goldilocks Effect.”balancing galaxy

For scientists who don’t acknowledge God’s wisdom and power in creation, the Goldilocks Effect is merely a description of what is essentially a lucky break on a cosmic scale. But if I were an insouciant atheist physicist (say that three times!) there would be a more pressing question on my agenda than “How did things get just right?” And that is the question “What keeps it all just right?”

Yes, this primordial stew of life support ended up just right. But for how long?
What sustains this vital balance? The answer doesn’t require the brain of an Einstein or a Hawking. The answer is in black and white (and red?) in the New Testament.

Exhibit A…

Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Christ sustains creation.

balanceThere is a pandemic view spreading in the consciousness of Christian thinking that God designed and initiated creation with a set of self-sustaining natural laws and then just stepped back and let it happen. But even the proverbial clockmaker needs to wind the springs and clean the glass occasionally.

The Bible plainly teaches that God does so much more than a periodic maintenance tweaking. He didn’t just program the perfect “.exe file” and then hit the enter key and watch it run, stepping in to debug from time to time.

Exhibit B…

Heb 1:3 He (Christ) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

The proportions of the biblical position are staggering: He personally sustains everything, micro and macro.

That means all life and all physical laws—quantum mechanics, the laws of thermodynamics, electromagnetism, gravity, every single sinew of creation, every warp and woof in the fabric of DNA is held together by the word of his power. Every minute aspect of the water cycle, the food chain, and the ecosystem, are directly operated by our God.

Some more exhibits…

Matt 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

Psalm 147:8-9 He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.

Psalm 104:21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.

pale blue dotThis is not poetry, it’s science. It’s not rhetoric, it’s theology. It’s not an overstatement for the sake of literary effect, it is a theological certainty for the sake of your stress levels.

You might say “I don’t think God micromanages everything. I don’t think He is in control of every single thing that happens. Can’t he make an eco-system where sparrows are born and die at the correct rate? Does he really have to give permission every time one dies?”

God absolutely could have done that. But he didn’t.

That’s what the Bible says. That’s what Jesus said. And this doesn’t just apply to galaxies, atoms, weather, and warfare. But to your very life and breath.

This doctrine is like a warm blanket of comfort.
So, when your car is stolen, don’t panic.
When cancer calls, don’t panic.
When the interest rates go up as the economy goes down, don’t panic.
Jesus is holding your planet, your country, your family, your body, and your very soul in his hands. Day and night.

Jesus is the one
…keeping the water cycle turning.
…keeping the planets in orbit.
…energizing photosynthesis.
…keeping your breath flowing.
…keeping your blood pulsing.
…holding your very life together.
In Him all things hold together!

Goldilocks indeed! This is the Jesus Christ effect.

Clint Archer

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Clint has been the pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church since 2005. He lives in Durban, South Africa with his wife and four kids.
  • John Byde

    Great article, Clint. I often think with amazement, how can you be a scientist and NOT believe in God.

    • I know. It’s frustrating that scientists claim to be objective, but they regard unproven theory as fact and disregard the biblical account although it’s never been disproven scientifically.

  • Jane Hildebrand

    And to think He knows our names and we will see His face…astounding.

  • 4Commencefiring4

    I’m not sure we’ll be given unlimited access and be able to ask all our questions in the next life regarding our time in this one; perhaps by then, we won’t care and will be glad to put it all behind us. So my list of queries is necessarily limited.

    But, after asking for a complete accounting of what REALLY happened at Dealey Plaza, I’m going to ask why He decided to make a universe so large that most of it we weren’t able to even see. Yes, it’s glorious beyond measure–Hubble reveals magnificent views. But that’s kinda the point: His children on Earth were unable to appreciate the great bulk of the universe because it was out of range, despite our best efforts.

    Which makes it all the more puzzling that, one day, He’s going to destroy it all and remake it. I hope the new one will be totally within our field of view, because we’re going to be in it a very long time…if time means anything.

    Then, if I get a third question…

    • And there are fish in the sea no one has enjoyed until the recent tsunami revealed their existence. I think God creates a lot in order for him to enjoy in his own, or maybe enjoy with the angels. And he made a place that is so unfathomable that we would truly understand the concept of unfathomableness.

      • Jason

        This definitely has always struck me as the point. How many times have writers and poets reflected on how the galaxy makes them feel small and insignificant?

        If creation can make us feel dwarfed. How should we feel related to the creator, who out of such unfathomable greatness still decided he would care for us?

      • Still Waters

        That is exactly what David said: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have made; what is man, that you are mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

      • 4Commencefiring4

        “Unfathomableness.” Word of the day! I have to practice that one.

  • Vinod Anand S

    Yes! To know that God is in control of everything is a very blessed comfort and a shot of encouragement for every discouraged souls. How could many in Christian circles can disregard such a thought?

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  • Praise Him!