Author's Note: Again, I am preaching to the choir here—no apologetics.
An Allegory of Light?
So . . . still on my perpetual C. S. Lewis kick. Lewis wrote a bunch of essays on various things compiled in a book called God in the Dock. And in one of these essays he wrote about how all or some of the things present in this world are metaphors for spiritual truths. For instance, plants. Plants have to die and be resurrected again to a new life to be of any good use to anyone. (. . . that which thou sowest is not quickened [made alive], except it die.) One can easily see the parallel in the life of the person of Jesus Christ. Christ had to die and be raised again in order to, not only set his people free, but also to free creation from her bondage. If you want the long, explained version, read God in the Dock because it's been a while. That's not really what I'm talking about. I'm talking about Light.
I think Light is another one of these nature-embodied metaphors. Three points of scripture and some science. Scripture: (speaking about Christ) "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." "That was the true light which lighteth every man which cometh into the world." "I am the light of the world." Let's see, first two were John 1:4, 9, and the third one was John 8:12. These scripture verses make a pretty significant connection between light and life. The life is the light of the world. How does that work? Well, in science it's pretty simple. We know that light is a life-giving substance. Without light there would be no life as we know it. Life is either autotrophic or heterotrophic. An autotroph depends on photosynthesis to make its food—directly on light. An heterotroph depends on other heterotrophs or autotrophs to make food.
At the bottom line, light is necessary for survival. Without light, there is no life. The same can be carried to a spiritual plane. In calling Himself the light of the world, Jesus makes the same assertion. Without light, there is no life. Without the Light, there would be no spiritual life. We would still be dead in our sins.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul chastised the Corinthian church because some of them claimed that there was no resurrection of the dead. Paul corrected them by saying:
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching in vain, and your faith is also vain . . . . For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1 Corinthians 15:12-14, 16-19)
Again and again, the writers of the New Testament make it clear that Jesus is the life-giving source, and his death and resurrection are the foundation and cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, Christianity is pointless, because we're in the same sinking ship we tried to jump off by believing in Christ in the first place. So that's just part of my point about higher spiritual truths being reflected in the physical plane of reality. Or how is it said in Romans? "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (1:20). Paul is saying that nature itself knows the things of God, and even shows or demonstrates the unseen parts of reality.
People always talk about Christian morality like it is the most important thing about the Christian faith. It isn't. Granted, it's important, but it is not the central issue. In case you haven't noticed, there are other moralities floating around the Milky Way, some of them are on the right track, and some of them aren't. One can be a moral and ethical person without being a Christian. But who cares? The whole message of Christianity is the fact that being a moral and ethical person doesn't cut it. In fact, the fact remains that no one is a perfectly moral person, and that just happens to be what God wants, needs, and requires—all because He is perfectly good and perfectly holy. (People often seem able to comprehend that God loves people more than anyone loves anyone else—with an everlasting, undying love. Now, understand that God is as much holy and just as he is merciful and loving.) The slightest sin, the tiniest fault to us is like an oozing pustule to him. Of course, he loves us anyway, but the sin itself is still disgusting. Sin is gross and it infects and destroys everything else, making people (and creation) die and decay and generally get worse. Have you ever heard anything so disgusting that you wish you had never heard it before? Or maybe you've actually felt ill? Or maybe it's so revolting that you want to banish any thought of this being possible from your mind? Well, that's what even minor sin is to God. (By the way, if you've never heard of the putrescent side of human nature, just watch Law and Order, SVU). That's the rap there, sin is gross and nothing is going to make sin less gross, and you don't want to live with something gross for all eternity. So, you have to find a way to throw the grossness out while keeping the goodness and the people. And God made that possible at the cross. Jesus' righteousness is imputed for us, and we are born again and renewed through him. So . . . be happy, 'cause that's cool.
Author's Note: Upcoming chapter that concerns the physics side of Light as well as immanence, transcendence, and eternality . . . I think.