The incarnation of God and His Kingdom in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth is the merger of the Transcendent and the immanent. In His incarnate state, Jesus has both eternal Being and temporal existence.
Jesus The Christ, therefore, is the Great Singularity: perfectly God and perfectly human. This means the incarnation of Jesus Christ is a singularly profound Event with catalytic implications for individuals and the civilizations, nations, societies, institutions, cultures, and environments they build and inhabit.
Oddly enough, the exponentially expanding technology of our times provides a powerful apologetic for the reality of the pre-existent, catalytic Christ.
In my book, Who Will Rule the Coming ‘Gods’,I quote Dr. Seth Lloyd, an MIT Professor and physicist who describes the universe as a “quantum processor”. “Quanta” are bits of information. However, the “computer” does not create the information, but the information is used to build the computer. Computer technology came into existence because of the pre-existence of information
Therefore, information must exist prior to its processor, hence, God precedes the creation of the universe, and is its “Creator and “Programmer.” So, as John writes, “In the beginning was the Logos (Word, Information), and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God... All things came into being through Him” ... “And the Logos became flesh flesh, and dwelt among us.”
John 1:1-14 reveals the stunning apologetic:
- The Logos-Word was already present before the beginning, as information precedes and even calls for the machine that can utilize it.
- The Logos-Word brought into existence everything that exists just as information is the stuff of life, in the form of DNA, and the electronic content without which a computer would not exist.
- The Logos-Word was and is catalytic, transforming darkness into light and the very nature of creation, including the human.
- The Logos-Word entered creation in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Agent of catalytic transformation. So, the program enters the machine and catalyzes its operations. The incarnate, catalytic Agent transforms all into whom He enters and all who enter into Him, both instantaneously and progressively.
On the heavenly scale the man and woman who have received the catalytic Christ are seen in the eyes of the Father as being as holy as His only begotten Son, and, on the finite, immanent scale, as one who is in the process of sanctification — the inner and outer working of relationship with Christ.
The great question this Christmas is whether civilization can exist without the catalytic Logos-Word made incarnate in Christ and conformed to His singular nature through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Many have pondered that issue in other historic periods. General Douglas MacArthur was charged with transforming Japan from the “state Shinto” worldview that many thought led to that nation’s involvement in the Second World War, and MacArthur asked for missionaries and Bibles.
In 1967 I had a direct encounter with the fruit of the effort in Japan to look to God for transformation. I met Mitsuo Fuchida, a leading fighter pilot in the Pearl Harbor raid. I encountered Fuchida at a most unlikely place — a Southern Baptist Church in Alabama. Fuchida was there to preach the Gospel of Christ, whose catalytic effect had transformed him and his worldview.
A decade later I met another participant in the Second World War who came under the transforming power of the catalytic Incarnation, Wernher von Braun. This rocket scientist pondered the tragedy of Germany, his native country, and the role he played in it. He would ultimately announce that contemplating science led him to Christ: “For me, the idea of creation is not conceivable without invoking the necessity of design ... It would be an error to overlook the possibility that the universe was planned rather than happening by chance.”
Stan Grant, an Australian Aboriginal, writes about the “receding” of Christianity in his native Australia, and its impact on Christmas. The decline of Christianity and the spread of secularization “reflects a cynicism that has pervaded society and has fractured bonds of tradition and family and community and faith, particularly Christian faith.”
David Kupelian surveys the intensified secularism in the United States and Western civilization now and writes that the problem is the society’s decline of “family, community, and particularly Christian faith ... In short, quoting sociologist Philip Rieff, “we have swapped a sacred order for a social order.”
The result is an “ignoring of reality at every turn,” and people manifesting “an abiding contempt for biology, the lessons of history, the fundamental laws of economics, the transcendent value of human life, and especially for God and His laws.”
And that raises a crucial question:
Is civilization in its highest form even possible without the acknowledgment and transforming power of the catalytic Person born in Bethlehem 20 centuries ago, and living continually among us through His Holy Spirit?
We will find out in the years ahead if the sense of transcendence dims and the power of the machine intensifies exponentially.
Wallace B. Henley, a former White House and congressional aide, is author of Who Will Rule the Coming ‘Gods’, a book exploring the consequences of the exponential development of artificial intelligence in a society that is rapidly losing the sense of God’s Transcendence. He is a teaching pastor at Grace Church, The Woodlands, Texas.