Friday, October 12, 2012

Einstein, intellect and little children

I was reading the other day that Einstein's "God letter" is going up for sale.

On January 3, 1954, a year before his death, Einstein wrote a letter to philosopher Erik Gutkind in which he said that "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change this."

The letter, bought by its present owner from Bloomsbury Auctions in London in 2008 for $404,000, is going on eBay with an opening bid of $3 million. A representative of the agency handling the sale said it could fetch double or triple that amount.

Mind you, you don't just get the letter. For that amount of money, they throw in the envelope as well.

Einstein once believed the universe had always existed. The discovery of scientific evidence that the universe had a beginning was, he said, "irritating." In his later years, he evidently had not discovered a personal relationship with the Cause behind the beginning.

Jesus said: "Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 18:3).

So here we have Einstein, whose intellect was perhaps a barrier to a personal faith; someone who is going to spend a fortune for a letter doubting the existence of a personal God; and some people like little children who can have fellowship with their Heavenly Father at no cost to themselves.

It cost something, of course, to make it possible. It cost the Son of God a life of rejection, the torment He suffered after His arrest, the agony and shame of  crucifixion and the loss of fellowship with His Father for the first time ever as He hung on the cross.

The other day, I was talking to an old lady about Christ's sacrifice. "He didn't have to do all that," she said. Indeed He didn't. What caused Him to do all that was love.

Love is something you can't reduce to a mathematical formula. But it's real, so real, nevertheless.