Christianity and Middle-Earth

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar

Lacking the sort of mind that can read an argument contemptuous of Christianity and then quickly lay out a sharp, analytical defense, I must rely on commonsense and the poetic. No doubt this makes me an idiot in the eyes of many a smart-alecky online atheist, but these things must be endured.

The commonsense comes in with this simple contemplation: I exist.

Plus this: the stars and the planets and the light-years are.

I exist and you - whoever you are reading these remarks – you exist. The two of us and the rest of mankind inhabit time and space. Time and space have to be somewhere. So where are they? Is there just one universe? Two, three, infinite universes? (Despite all that an astrophysicist or astronomer might argue, infinite universes are highly unlikely. In fact, the idea would seem to me to be a contradiction to the basic laws of physics, however relative.) What’s beyond that one or more universes?

Will there really be a morning?
Is there such a thing as Day?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were tall as they?

Emily Dickinson might also have asked, “Is there an edge to the universe?”

Presumably it has one. It definitely had a beginning, despite any Mobius-strip theories to the contrary. But what was there before the universe started expanding in that there?

I’m supposed to believe that poof! one day, a subatomic particle just decided it was time to exist? (Though where it thought it was going to exist is rather mystifying. Not to mention when.) One particle isn’t enough, I don’t think, though my grasp of astrophysics is admittedly slight; it seems to me to require a great many subatomic particles to provide the mass necessary for the Big Bang to actually make enough of a Bang! to produce minor details such as stars and planets. (But then, as I said, I’m not an astrophysicist, so what do I know?)

But, Baillie, you moron, you can’t really believe that there’s some all-powerful “God” out there? That’s so Upper Paleolithic.

Well, it seems to me that we’ve got two choices. One, as noted above, is the secularist Poof! into existence of something out of nothing into nowhere. The other is that the subatomic particle went Poof! because Someone who inhabits eternity in a reality beyond our comprehension and even imagination made it go Poof! and lo and behold, there was Time and Space and Matter! Much smaller than a mustard seed and wanting considerable improvements, but perky and full of beans and eager for the excitements ahead.

That second choice is far-fetched, I agree. But as a scientist somewhere once said, it ain’t nearly as far-fetched as the alternative.


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