Space/Matter: The Second Point of the Cosmic Triangle

In our last post we began with the top point of the cosmic triangle, that of transcendence. Transcendence is the north on the compass; without it we poor humans are lost, and “lostness” explains our culture. The reality of transcendence, of the almighty God who exists beyond our cosmos, who is in full control even of the chaos of this world, and will bring creation to a blessed conclusion, is fundamental to our understanding of the world.

We now turn to space/matter, the second point of the cosmic triangle. When God created the cosmos, everything He made was pronounced “good.” We often use the word “good” in a sensual way concerning something that is “pleasing to the eye,” or “good to taste.” The sensual is certainly included in the Hebrew idea of good, for the senses are part of God’s gift to humanity. The Garden of Eden was a sensual delight beyond anything we can imagine now. However, goodness has a moral and “ontological” aspect as well. By “ontological” we mean that everything made by God is good by merely “being” or “existing,” since its idea was shaped and formed in the “mind” of God. Everything has its place in creation and has a right to exist, fulfilling the purpose of its creator. Everything demands respect. Moreover, we know that even though all creation has been deeply affected by the moral and spiritual fall of humanity, and “groans” for its redemption (Romans 8:19-22), yet it still reflects the glory of God (Ps. 19). God is even said to “fill heaven and earth” (Jer. 23:24). Though we know that creation is not divine (we are not pantheists), God “wears” nature, so to speak, as one wears clothes (Ps. 104). In fact, Jesus Christ Himself, in some mysterious way, intimately is connected to all things, for in Him all things consist (Col 1:17). This is a radical idea. God is all around us in the material world. If we could see things as they really are, if our eyes of flesh were connected with the interior eyes of our spirit, we would go about in absolute amazement and awe, for we would see God everywhere through the things we think so common day after day.

It is only the impurity of our souls that keeps us from seeing the material world for what it is. When we idolize things, they somehow become less real to us. We are so jaded by disappointment because we seek in things what we should only seek in God, ultimate satisfaction. When we purify ourselves from sinful attachment of material things, and give ourselves over to the quest of God who transcends all created things, then eventually created things begin to open up their secrets to us, and heaven and earth become one. True spirituality is a very material thing.

We humans find it hard to live in paradox. For many of us, transcendence is only real, and the things of this earth are either rejected as illusory, or abused in our own confusion over them. Or, the material world is only real, and transcendence seems to us illusory. By nature or temperament we tend to fall on one side of the spectrum or the other. Only a true biblical cosmology brings the two together and embraces both transcendence and the material world as real. Here we discover that heaven and earth come together in the incarnate Christ, for in becoming man, God has affirmed the reality and union of both the transcendent and the material. Christ has done in His own Being what no other philosophy and religion has done. So many of us Christians are hypocritical; on one hand we reject the material world and long for heaven in our church services and in our “reflective moments,” but feed and gluttonize ourselves on material things as if they were ultimate on a daily basis.

Dear friends, do we see that everything is a cosmological issue? We say we are biblical because we read our Bibles, but do we really have a biblical world view? How we view the world determines our reading of Scripture and our spirituality.

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