A Trinitarian universe

Peter Leithart summarized Henry Morris’ contention that the makeup of the universe parallels the interrelationship between the persons of the Trinity.

Morris suggests that the world has a fundamentally triadic structure.  Creation consists of the triad of space, time, and matter, which are coinherent yet distinct; and each of these features of creation is itself triadically structured.He writes, “the interrelationships between the three persons of the godhead are closely similar to the relationships between the three entities of the physical universe. As the Son manifests and embodies the Father, so the phenomena of matter represent, as it were, intangible space in a form discernible to the senses. Though space is everywhere, it is itself quite invisible and seemingly unreal, were it not that phenomena of all kinds are continually and everywhere taking place in space and thus manifesting its existence. The phenomena themselves when observed closely, are found to be essentially nothing but space (the atomic structure of matter, for example, whether conceived as particles or waves, consists almost wholly of space). And yet the phenomena (matter and energy) are most definitely real and discernible to the senses and to measurement. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, again invisible and omnipresent, with the function of interpreting and applying the nature and work of the Son and the Father. Likewise, time is the universal concept within which the significance of space and matter must be interpreted and applied. Time itself only becomes meaningful in terms of the phenomena and material and processes that are everywhere manifest in space.”

Thus, “The physical universe as we know it, therefore, is in its nature wonderfully analogous to the nature of its Creator. The continuum of space and matter and time — each distinct and yet inseparably interrelated with the other two and occupying the whole of the universe — is remarkably parallel in character to what has been revealed concerning the nature of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each distinct and yet each inseparably identified with the other two, and each equally and eternally God. Space is the invisible, omnipresent background of all things, everywhere displaying phenomena of matter and/or energy (which are interconvertible) that are, in turn, experienced in time. Just so, the Father is the invisible, omnipresent source of all being, manifested and declared by the eternal Word, the Son, who is, in turn, experienced in the Spirit.”

According to Leithart, Morris also contends that one can see the Trinity within space (length, width, and breadth) and matter (energy, motion, and phenomenon).  Check out Leithart’s whole post for more.

Those with a better understanding of science than I have: what do you think about Morris’ ideas?

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3 comments

  1. It sounds like numerology to me, particularly as Morris chooses how to group things as he looks for 3s.

    I haven’t heard of the “energy, motion, and phenomenon” partitioning before. Other than the 3 dimensions of space, it seems fairly arbitrary to me. Even then, higher spatial dimensions are often theorized, and time makes points at least 4d.

    3 is a necessary and recurring number. But so are 1 and 2 — which just so happen to add up to 3! 😉

  2. You articulated a good concern: if one looks for things like that, one might be able to find groupings of 3.

    Leithart kind of likes numerology in a way. He’s got a way of looking at the Bible that I hadn’t seen too much before. Most people would say that there are certain threads that go throughout the Bible; for Leithart, if you dissect one of those threads it’s like finding tens or hundreds of threads within that thread. For example, he will find descriptions that he believes mirror the 7 days of creation in, say, Isaiah, and they’ll be in chiastic (ABCDCBA) form. That’s a possible example, but shows the level that he’s sometimes looking at.

    I usually don’t read his posts on that too closely because I usually don’t have the familiarity with the text that I would need to agree or disagree with it.

  3. It’s easy to get caught up in those threads of symbolism, and while there are certainly many such threads which go beyond what was intended (or what is valid), the writers of the Bible liked numerology, too, and symbolism in general, so looking for such patterns seems more reasonable to me.

    In fact, a rough understanding of some Jewish associations and symbols can be fundamental to properly understanding many verses. I’ve probably mentioned some along the way, but Revelation springs to mind as being particularly rife with Jewish symbolism including numerology. Which is not to imply that I understand Revelation. 🙂

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