Archive for March, 2010

Last year around this time, Lutheran Church – Canada posted an Easter mediation on YouTube. The video begins with our President Robert Bugbee standing in the burnt shell of a former church, situated in the midst of a cemetery. Having reflected briefly on the atmosphere of sorrow and destruction surrounding the area, he comments, “You may think it’s very strange that I would bring an Easter greeting to you from a place like this – the middle of a cemetery, in front of a beautiful building that’s burned down and been lost.” But he goes on to explain that good news of Jesus Christ begins in just such a place – “in the middle of a cemetery, you might say.” He reminds us that “Jesus, who really died and was really buried, also really bodily rose from the dead.” Through his sacrifice, our sins are forgiven. And because of that, we can have hope even in the darkest of places – even in the middle of a cemetery.

“Your death doesn’t have to be the end of the line because his death wasn’t the end of the line,” Rev. Bugbee declares. And, while he doesn’t mention this, it’s also interesting to note that the word “cemetery” itself implies that very hope. It comes from the Greek for “sleeping place.” As Daniel writes, the “multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake.” And as Paul explains, Christ is “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.”

I’m reminded of the words of John Donne: “Death be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful for thou are not so… One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”

Check out the video below. It’s unfortunate that the creators decided to add some rather unnecessary (and distracting) “special effects” (such as the cartoony flowers, the “ka-ching!” noise, repeating the word “difference”, lense colouring, and so forth). The video would have a much more powerful punch if those effects were dropped. But if you can ignore the “chaff”, as Chaucer would say, you’ll be sure to enjoy the main content, or “fruit”.

Much is made these days of multiverse theories as a method of explaining the anthropic tendencies our universe displays. It is granted that the universe is admirably suited – finely tuned, some might say – to allow the existence of life. The underlying fundamental constants or laws which make reality work the way it does (eg, the gravitational constant) are such that elements heavier than hydrogen and helium can form, matter can coalesce, and ultimately, life forms can arise. Such an admission can, to some, seem remarkable evidence for the purposeful design of the universe. To negate such claims, certain physicists have postulated the existence of the multiverse – a larger universe, if you will, containing numerous smaller universes (including our own). Our universe is “finely tuned” for life by chance, it is thus concluded. Some of the numerous universes which exist in the multiverse must allow the possibility of life. Ours just happens to be one of them. Thus, there is no need to postulate a god to explain the existence of life.

Certain of the hypotheses proposed suggest that the multiverse itself must be infinite in scope. It did not begin; it will not end. This universe generating machine must thus produce an infinite amount of universes – all possible universes, in fact. Moreover, it must thus produce all possible universes an infinite amount of times. Thus, in countless other universes, an entity identical to myself has already written this identical article and an identical you, my dear reader, have already read it. And in countless universes to come, the same reader-writer relationship will be repeated. Thus are the implications of infinity.

But there is one greater implication which has not, I think, been considered: If, indeed, infinitely possible universes must arise in the multiverse, then surely there must have already arisen (in the infinite past) universes where “gods” began to exist. And surely, in the infinite possibilities of the past, some of these gods must have discovered a way to not only control their own universes, but further to leave the confines of those universes and enter consciously into the multiverse. Moreover, in the infinite past, one of these gods now observing the multiverse must inevitably take control of the multiverse itself. And at that point, the multiverse would cease to be infinite; it would become a machine, operating under the orders of one particular entity.

The infinite nature of the multiverse tells us this must have occurred sometime in the infinite past. And as such, our present universe must thus have been allowed, dare I say designed, to exist by that deity which took control of the multiverse. Thus, the hypothesis designed to discredit the necessity of a god logically leads to the conclusion that a god must exist. This argument, of course, is not intended to prove the existence of God as Christians understand him. Rather, it is intended to demonstrate the logical inconsistency that arises when one invokes multiverse theories as an argument against the existence of God. If God did not exist, a multiverse must certainly give rise to one.