Veil of Intellectualism

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in 1921

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. I Corinthians 1:20-21

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Matthew 11:25-26

One of the greatest minds of the twentieth century was Albert Einstein. He transformed the scientific community with his theory of relativity and changed the scientific the view of the universe. It is difficult to measure the effect of this man even today. And while his ideas challenged the current theory of his time, even fueling the idea that the universe could not be infinite, Einstein did not believe in a personal God. Einstein celebrated the fact that “God” was behind all the physical laws of the universe. But the god he refers to is not the personal God of the Bible. Below are some quotes by Einstein that reveal his thinking about God.

“I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.

“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

“I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance — but for us, not for God.

“Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being.

We can say many things about Einstein, but there is little doubt as to his beliefs in a personal God. And this veil of intellectualism is one that plagues us and honestly frightens me. The intellect is a grand gift from our Creator. But it can blind us to the truth. Einstein could not believe in a personal God; One that loved him and died for his sins. The wisdom of God is hidden from the learned and revealed to little children. Intellectualism can be fatal without God. And it certainly can veil our life from the astounding blessing and fruitfulness of a Spirit-filled life. It is a great danger to think of God solely on an intellectual level. He is spirit. And to ignore this trivializes his great character and the essence of who He is. The only way to strip away the intellectual view of God is to trust and believe in a personal, supernatural God who manifested himself in the person of Jesus Christ. There is no other way. Mo mind, no matter how great, can fathom the awesome spiritual nature of our God.

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