Einstein’s Folly

Read about a letter written by Albert Einstein being auctioned off where he says “the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.” There are other religious topics he also addresses, such as Judaism.

This viewpoint is nothing new and only carries weight because of the massive intelligence of Einstein and the influence we give him.  It is a reminder to me that our strengths (intelligence, power, wealth, etc…) are great hindrances to a relationship with God through Christ.  I am reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians in I Corinthians 1:18-31 (I Cor. 1:26-27 – “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…”).  While I wouldn’t say that the Bible is the product of human weaknesses, rather it addresses our weakness.  Unfortunately, we have a difficult time acknowledging any such thing in ourselves.  Without weakness, who needs God?  Jesus himself said:  Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick…For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Matthew 9:12).

I also wonder what Einstein would see as childish in Scripture.  The Bible is full of stories that would garner an R rating if they were made into movies (rape, incest, murder, war, adultery as the subject matter) and it is also full of tales of wonder (Job, Jonah, the miracles of Christ, Christ’s death on the Cross and His resurrection to name a few).  Are these things childish or merely objectionable to someone who dismisses them?  We also must remember that Scripture calls us to a child-like faith (as opposed to childish).  This does not require us to check our brains at the door (an often made accusation and unfortunately sometimes proven by Christians), but it does require us to set aside foolish pride and questions that merely serve to keep God at arms-length and instead receive with joy and wonder the gift of His grace in Christ.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Excellent, Adam 🙂

    I’ve been writing about 1 Corinthians, so this was the first thing that came to my mind when I heard about “the letter”. You don’t need a massive intellect to understand scripture, and it’s not even an asset, though a normal intellect is certainly helpful (but not, I think, essential).

    What we really need is the Spirit of God. Which the world doesn’t have. No one can understandn the things of a man except the spirit of the man that dwells within him. But we have the Spirit of God and the mind of Christ. So . . . God’s ways and words are all foolishness to anyone without the Spirit living within.

    Grace and Peace to you,



  2. Posted by adamtisdale on May 14, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Thank you Cindy for your thoughts and encouragement.


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