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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Sunday Special (2)


Titus 1:2

in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.

In 1905, in a single issue of Annalen der Physik, a young patent examiner published three landmark papers. One, on Brownian motion, was original enough to have sourced a PhD dissertation. Another, titled “On a Heuristic Point of View about the Creation and Conversion of Light,” would win its young author the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.

But the third one was the biggie. Titled, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies," it would make its author’s name synonymous with genius. Albert Einstein had figured out that time isn’t what we think it is.

Ironically titled “relativity,” Einstein’s theory postulated that one absolute—the speed of light—underpinned the laws of physics. From this, many wonderful things can be derived. The mass of an object is a function of its speed relative to the speed of light. This leads to E=mc2. Atomic energy is understood in terms of that equation.

Einstein also showed that time is a function of speed and gravity. This amazing concept has profound implications that reach even into biblical hermeneutics.

Relativity isn’t just a theory; it’s a fact that NASA deals with every day. The Global Positioning System must account for the effects of relativity. Otherwise, your GPS wouldn’t work. Einstein introduced a concept called “time dilation,” which is that time slows down when you’re moving fast or in the presence of gravity. This is best illustrated in what is known as “The Twins Paradox.”

Imagine twins, one of whom becomes an astronaut. If the astronaut goes on a long trip, traveling very fast, he’ll be younger when he returns than the twin that stayed home. That twin may have even been dead for centuries. Astronauts on the International Space Station are affected, though only by a fraction of a second. Still, that much time dilation could throw the Global Positioning System way off.

Another great example of time dilation is that time runs faster on the moon than on earth.

The theological implications of time dilation are simple but important. Time cannot be self-existent. Thus God must have created time. This is in perfect harmony with the Titus 1:2 quote above.

Many Bible verses imply that God created time. Good. Anything else would show the Bible to be a creation of man. For a more thorough explanation, see the first Sunday Special.

Faith is not belief without evidence. Belief without evidence is blind faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. — Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

Evidence (sometimes called general revelation) is all around us. The Bible helps us understand the evidence, and the evidence helps us understand the Bible.

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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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