THE EDGE OF KNOWING

Christ the Judge

Christ the Judge

Of the riches of art in the church of Saint John’s Memphis the mural — Christ The Judge is a favorite of mine. This is partly because I look at it as I stand in the pulpit facing the congregation as I preach. Seeing the image of Christ in glory prepared to bring down the curtain on history is a corrective to homiletic hubris. Also I am continually fascinated by the book held up by the angel on the lower left. This is the Book of Knowledge and inscribed on it is an equation of Albert Einstein.

When the mural was painted in the early 1950’s this was the edge of human speculation on the nature of the universe. Einstein, like other physicists, searched for an equation to describe everything, a unified field theory. The equation on the book is not the famous equation of relativity but rather Einstein’s unified field theory. John De Rosen was a very erudite fellow and placed the very edge of knowing on his art.

As it turns out Einstein was incorrect. This theory was not adequate for his purpose. It seems appropriate that on the Book of Knowledge there is a speculation that is not quite there yet —- such is our Knowing of science and of God.

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