Some weeks ago I was thinking of writing an article on “the apocalypse of John as christocentric occultism.” I may yet do this, but in the meantime I’ve been thinking I need to expand on the wider topic of Christian cosmology. The thread between the two is language of ‘sacred cosmos.’ What truths of the cosmos are hidden from science but revealed by the Spirit?
Even within scientific circles there has been considerable talk on the limits of reductionism. For instance, how we get time asymmetric entropy from time symmetric physics remains a mystery to reductionists the world over. And beyond this, in the fields of philosophy and ethics, many have highlighted that what “ought to be” is not easily derivable from “what is” scientifically verifiable. So science, powerful as it is, is not the panecea it is sometimes made out to be.
Yet evangelicalism, for the most part, seems bogged down in debate over evolution and intelligent design. I think we need to raise the conversation to a more intelligent level. We often ask, what has been revealed about God to the world? I think we also need to ask, what has God revealed about the world to us … in the deeper sence? What remains hidden (occulted) to the world without Christ? What remains hidden (veiled) even so?
Here are some provisional thoughts. Firstly, history and human experience is governed by the intangible as well as the tangible. Moreover, the universe is open, unable to be fully explained by internal cause and effect. This does not mean tangible and easily discernable causes should be easily dismissed (yes, let science be science) but it does mean our horizons need broadening beyond this. Christ reveals that we should be open to being surprised, that the future is not strictly determined by the past (contra fatalism), that moral forces are at work in the midst of chaos, and that the universe, perceived rightly, is a living temple. Rather than using God’s revelation to stifling questions about our world, let us be open to God’s revelation stimulating questions about our God saturated world.