Thursday, September 29, 2011

MrsDrPoe: The Second Law of Thermodynamics as It Applies to Christianity

This Theology Thursday, I invite you to open up your Bibles with me as we take a look at a portion of God's word.  Today we'll be taking a bit of a different approach to some passages, examining how the second law of thermodynamics applies to Christianity.

The second law essentially states that the total amount of entropy in the universe is always increasing or every existing process is irreversible.  This wording may not mean much to you if you're not in some type of science or engineering field, but it definitely effects you.  This law in layman's terms tells us that no process is 100% efficient i.e. you put in more energy than you get out in useful energy or work.  

For instance: A tank of gasoline has x amount of chemical energy.  Engines use the gas to power your vehicle, but they only 'see' y amount of the energy available- the rest (x-y = z) is 'lost' to friction, heat dissipation, etc.  The fact that there is a lot of chemical energy that does not go directly into running your car means that the process is much less than 100% efficient.  

While we know that energy can never be created or destroyed (the first law), we should now also know that not all of the energy we put into something produces useful results.  They key in much of engineering is to design processes which eliminate as much of this 'wasted energy' as we can, ensuring that these processes use energy as efficiently as possible.

So what in the WORLD does this have to do with Christianity?  Look at these verses from the new testament:

"And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18)

"For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.  In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you." (1 Pet 4:3-4)

The word dissipation in these verses is actually the Greek word asotia, which means prodigality.  In Luke 15, we read of Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, so most of us are probably familiar with the word 'prodigal'...but do we truly know what it means?  Prodigal is defined most frequently as 'excessive wastefulness.'  Thus in the above passages, these sinful acts are called wasteful, which means that in committing them we are being tremendously inefficient with the energy given to us by God.

But if we say to ourselves, "well this doesn't apply to me, because I don't do any of these things," we need to realize that "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." (Rom 3:23).  Like the car engine, much of the energy and things we have are wasted in that they do not serve a useful purpose to the Lord by glorifying His name.  While we can never be perfect as Christ was, His model of life on this earth should be what we're striving to match every day- we should all be 'engineers' trying through the grace of God to make our lives as 'efficient' as possible by ridding them of sin.


Post a Comment