I’ve never been a great science student. My interest in science is a byproduct of my interest in philosophy. I’ve noticed that the two often intersect, however unintentionally. Newton, with his fixed laws of motion, fueled, much to his chagrin, a deistic worldview. Darwin, who turned all the world into a living and changing organism, gave rise to social Darwinism and the dialectical view of history (which results clashed mightily in the eastern front of World War 11). Einstein came along with relativity, and, surprise, the culture is swimming in relativism.
Newton, however, has not quite left us. You’ll remember his law of inertia, that objects at rest tend to remain at rest and objects in motion tend to remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Without this concept, science is impossible. If some apples fall and some apples float, for no reason, we just can’t be sure of anything.
But the concept of inertia has, at least in the West, infected our view of history. Perhaps aided by some degree of stability in our recent past, we have jumped to the erroneous conclusion that tomorrow will be much like today. If a worldwide depression, two world wars, and genocide around the globe haven’t wiped the smiles off our faces, we are still Enlightenment optimists. Tomorrow will be like today, we seem to think, except better.
But what if it is not? We live in an age when unstable atoms wait to be unleashed by unstable rulers and terrorists, when deadly viruses abound, both in nature and in the laboratories of madmen. We teeter on the edge of economic collapse as the wind rustles about our economic house of credit cards. And then there is that nasty bug everyone is talking about, the millennium bug. Oh, and don’t forget the all-powerful, jealous God, who must not be too pleased with us.
Tomorrow may be another step up the mountain, or we may step off a cliff. History is in the hands not of potentates and scientists, but of God. It is not just Christians who live coram Deo—we all do. He is watching us, but not from a distance. Like the sparrows, we are not to worry. But like the ant, we are to prepare for tomorrow, whatever His providence may bring.