Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Light is the Life of Men

Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe finished last weekend but is still on iPlayer for the next few days. You don't need me to say it's worth watching. It is. Phil Moore says Cox is: "Patrick Moore’s brain ..transplanted.. into Vernon Kay’s body".

For the last few years Richard Dawkins has been the bulldog of Science, venomously gnawing away against his Christian heritage... Cox is different.

Brian Cox is a worshipper and, as Phil Moore notes, a worship leader. He knows what he loves and he sings, to a spectacularly orchestrated soundtrack. He's committed to telling a better story than everyone else. He wont just tell you "old boats wont do" or "I can build better boats", like Antoine de Saint-Expury makes us dream of the ocean.

His worship of the gods of the Sun and Moon is compelling and enthusiastic. It's loud and visual. Watching him is a bit like watching Louie Giglio's Indescribable videos. Giglio's answer is to say - yes see the big and amazing world, and look to the God beyond. That angle is good and helpful and has really helped me, crying out in the wilderness: my God is bigger than your God. It an be a bit scary but it makes us say wow....

The cinematography is wondrous, but when the show is over I'm left sitting in the dark - and there I need someone who will chase that away, overcome that and lead us out into the comfort and safety of a new day.

Cox says the light is the life of men. Someone said that before. The sun has a lot to tell us. It's song isn't just "I'm big and you're small". Truly the sun sings of our need of life from outside ourselves, of another who will pour himself out for us, one who will chase away our darkness. This good news is wonderful and wowing, but above all winning and wooing.... but then the God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:6)

The light has a face.


  1. I'm sure he isn't trying to sync up day one to day 4 of Genesis, but I couldn't help but crack a rye smile when he talked about how there was (primordial) light before (visible) light.

  2. And how that "primordial" light still bathes everything we see.

  3. Quite! Nothing wrong with a bit of good science.

  4. Excellent post! I've loved the series and thought similar things to you. But you put them so well.

    He did keep visiting temples as well. We often say that Genesis 1-2 is not about answering the questions of science. But I wonder if it is written exactly to respond to science which when you boil it down looked at lot like Brian Cox's science of the 21st century.

  5. I kept hearing echos of scripture coming through all the way though the series...amazing

  6. Incidentally, Brian Cox is a good example of how we can connect the "wow...this is huge" to the intimate "this is me". Our faith can swap between the two. We stress the intimacy and the personal relationship but cut out the wonder and the awe and get accused of escaping reality. Or in reaction we do the opposite. The best most compelling faith stories (whether false or incomplete like Brian Cox's or true like Christ's) are those the connect the awesome with the personal.

  7. Johnny: Makes me ask if the echoes of Scripture were intentional, or just inevitable.

  8. ...I woulda thought inevitable.