Einstein, God & Humility

Several weeks ago on a shopping trip to Wal-Mart, my boys and I were able to do one of our favorite things on such trips- slip away to the book aisles! On this occasion I had the opportunity to thumb through Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Einstein. I was particularly intrigued to find a chapter titled, “Einstein’s God.” I later checked out the book from a library and read with much interest this chapter. Einstein was of course a Jew and never professed faith in Christ. However, he was convinced that the orderliness of the universe demonstrated the design of a deity. Isaacson wrote of the impact on Einstein of this belief in God:

“For Einstein, as for most people, a belief in something larger than himself became a defining sentiment. It produced in him an admixture of confidence and humility that was leavened by a sweet simplicity. Given his proclivity toward being self-centered, these were welcome graces. Along with his humor and self-awareness, they helped him to avoid the pretense and pomposity that could have afflicted the most famous mind in the world.” 385

If the belief in a fairly impersonal, deistic concept of God had such a humbling effect on an incredibly gifted, non-Christian scientist, why doesn’t knowledge of the redeeming work of Christ produce more humility in less brilliant, Christian pastors like us? Far too often pastors are marked by more knowledge of God but less evidence of His grace than is suggested in this quote. Far too often “pretense and pomposity” are words associated with Christian leaders. Let us ponder the greatness of God that we might see his glory and our smallness, and find joy in both.

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