Super, natural, or sub?

I’ve always been a fan of the sci-fi genre. Star Trek (all movies and series), Star Wars (not the Ewok live-action series), Stargate (the movie and both series), The X-Files, Millennium (I was one of the few who dug the show it would seem), those are my favs. Interestingly enough, these shows fall into two camps; all of the “Star” shows would say that there is no such thing as the supernatural, that everything can be explained through science and by natural means, while the other two shows would say (minus Scully) that there is something of the supernatural or that which cannot be explained by natural means.

While pondering Bible prophecy as well as creationism (I’m teaching both topics in different venues) I was thinking about this concept of being able to explain everything through naturalistic means vs. saying that some things can only be explained via the supernatural (meaning God) and have to be taken on faith. Then it occurred to me; the idea that we live in the natural world and that God lives in the supernatural is actually very man-centered. What if God is the one who lives in the natural world and we live in the sub-natural?

Think about it. Modern scientific thought suggests that we exist in four dimensions and that there are possibly 10 (if not more) dimensions. This idea of extra dimensionality makes perfect sense of how beings like angels or demons can function. Since they aren’t limited to just four dimensions they would be capable of much more than us. We would therefore refer to them as supernatural beings. Again, very man centered.

On shows like Star Trek and Stargate (and I’ll throw Scully in there as well) they are always talking about how there are things we don’t know now, but we will one day figure out. Just because it can’t be explained now doesn’t mean it will never be able to be explained. Funny, sounds like someone expressing faith to me. “We don’t know now but we will some day.” Sounds like blind faith in fact. Higher technology looks like magic to more primitive cultures. A lighter would look like magic to someone from Solomon’s time. For us it’s an everyday tool. On fact there was a whole “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode devoted to this very idea. The crew of the Enterprise helped a primitive culture understand that their concept of “The Overseer” was bogus and that the amazing starship and medical tech aren’t magical, but technological. Their ancestors just made up The Overseer in oder to explain what they could not yet understand. Sounds familiar.

But what are we dealing with here? Science cannot prove the existence of God. Neither can it disprove His existence. Why? Because God is defined as a supernatural being. Scientific experimentation can only test what we refer to as the natural world. Therefore, there cannot be a scientific test for the existence of God. Of course, there is no scientific test for the existence of love, humor, hatred, sadness, or joy either. Yet we know these things are “real”. Consequently, to someone whose faith is in science, God doesn’t exist.

What if, in reality, we aren’t living in the natural world, but the sub-natural? If there are more than the four dimensions in which we exist, that would mean that we are less real than that which exists in more dimensions. As time marches on and we get smarter about the nature of the universe we aren’t learning about anything supernatural, we are learning about that which is more natural than we are. Scientists refer to the “God particle”. That’s one of the things CERN is trying to uncover. They refer to “dark matter” and “dark energy”. What’s that? Well, we can’t see it, and we can’t measure it, but we know it’s out there because without it, things in the universe just don’t or shouldn’t work the way they do. What holds atom together when they should fly apart? Cosmic glue. What’s that? We don’t know, but it’s there because atoms don’t fly apart. Sounds like more statements of faith to me.

The more I think about it, the more the idea that we live in a sub-natural world makes sense of things. It’s actually a very scientific and a Biblical idea. We are learning things via science that explain more and more how our world works. Scientifically speaking, things that would seem supernatural are being incorporated into what we understand as being natural. We aren’t bringing the supernatural down, we are actually broadening our understanding of the sub-natural in an upward direction toward the supernatural. Biblically speaking, when you read all the passages that describe God and His interactions with our world, it makes sense that we are on a lower plane of existence than God, as opposed to Him being on a higher one.

I realize it’s a matter of perspective, but in a way that’s the point. As a believer, my worldview is supposed to be God-centric, not man-centric. That being the case, God isn’t supernatural, He is natural. We are sub-natural (read Psalm 8). One day, at the resurrection/rapture, He will make those that are His more like Jesus is. I’m looking forward to that, and not just in a time/space continuum kind of way.

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  • Often the supernatural works of God appear so natural that we miss what He is doing and therefore fail to see Him in it.

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