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April 18 Louis Pasteur a Man who Read His Bible

Louis Pasteur Vision ViewpointThe Christian radio program Vision Viewpoint, a ministry of Reformation Hope Church in Hartford, WI, addresses the "rule of the invisible": how that which we cannot see is actually moving the whole world around us, and an ability to discern it leads men to great depth in understanding.

Louis Pasteur was one of the greatest medical scientists of all time. He was also very devout – a strong Christian man. In fact, his faith in Jesus Christ was one of the great causes and motives for his fame in science. One of his scientific studies  was to demonstrate that there had to be cause, and then effect. Life cannot arise out of inanimate matter; he knew this from the Scriptures. He knew that there was an invisible world that ruled the material world in which we live. Pasteur, understanding this fact, knew therefore that there had to be a cause, for example, for disease, and the bacteria – not be seen by the naked eye – that he studied in such scientific endeavors made him a very famous man. It was an understanding of the "rule of the invisible" that became fused into his scientific studies.

Another excellent illustration of the "rule of the invisible" is that of Sir Isaac Newton – also a Christian man. In the true story of him sitting under an apple tree and observing an apple fall to the ground, Newton was led to the conclusion that the apple fell because of some law that was operating upon it – an invisible, though very powerful principle – the law of gravitational attraction. Newton also went on to "co-invent" the calculus, and he understood calculus to be another "rule of the invisible" in the affairs of the material world.

Louis Pasteur and Sir Isaac Newton were men who read their Bibles. The word "carnal" in the Bible, despite societal abuse of that term as describing something in a silly manner, actually refers to one who judges by appearance and who is superficial – perhaps materialistic, or even atheistic. Such carnality can’t see beneath the surface of things. "Spiritual" is not someone who is "Sunday Schoolish" – someone who pleads some sort of moral, puritanical tone, but rather someone who understands the "rule of the invisible," and operates with the understanding that there are laws in the physical realm (such as physics, chemistry, and medicine), in mathematics (such as calculus, algebra, and geometry might teach), and, within the social realm, there are laws of human action.

Man is not neutral; he was created with "software," we might say by analogy. Man’s soul responds to the invisible. It responds and acts according to the laws of human action given by God, as "coded" into our very behavior. Man, for example, knows there is a Creator. You will not find anything in the animal world anything like regularity of worship, or bowing in prayer, or a time of devotion. There is nothing like this in the animal world – there is no sense of a God, whereas man does understand these concepts. Being made in God’s image, he knows the one true God – He doesn’t know Him personally, but he knows of Him and His character. He knows of the judgment of his soul that will come someday, and he seeks to suppress this in his daily behavior, as a result of his desire to be out from under such authority.

Men such as Pasteur, Newton, and also Galileo were Christian men, and their discoveries were not some separate category of their lives. Rather, their discoveries flowed out of their understanding of their Bibles. They understood that there was a great "mysterion" (the Greek word in the New Testament meaning a depth of understanding, from which we also get the word "mystery") – but it has nothing to do with mysticism or the occult. It means there is a great depth beneath the surface of appearance.

We’re told, for example, in 1 Corinthians 2:7-8: "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory, which none of the princes of the world knew: for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." Christ was very simple in appearance – a very plain man. The authorities put Him to death, and had they known and been able to understand beneath the surface the power of the Son of God, the Bible tells us they would never have crucified Him. This is true of all of life. God’s Word assures us that there is an invisible world, and an invisible set of laws – principles that move the world around us. Our faith teaches us what they are and how to use them. God’s wisdom and virtue teaches the Christian how to walk in them. They are very real and very powerful, and some of the greatest men and women of history, understanding their nature, have moved the world because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

Vision Viewpoint is a ministry of Reformation Hope Church in Hartford, WI.

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