King's Business - 1968-11


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a l t h o u g h l ig h t is one of the ^ most familiar physical enti­ ties in our universe, it has a na­ ture which is difficult to under­ stand and appreciate. Since Christ has said: “ I am the Light o f the World,” John 8 :12, a study of the nature of light should be profit­ able. Light is succinctly described by physicists as an electro-magnetic wave. This fact may be partially understood if the action of a mag­ net is considered. When the north poles o f two magnets are brought close together a force of repulsion is apparent. This repulsion is due to the action of their magnetic fields, which are always associ­ ated with magnets, even if they are in a vacuum. If the magnets we are considering are electro­ magnets, i.e., those produced by the flow o f electricity, the mag­ netic fields will appear and dis­ appear as the flow of electricity is first started, then stopped. This, then, would be an oscillating mag­ netic field. Under certain condi­ tions oscillating electric fields can also be produced. In review, light is therefore, a coupled electric and magnetic field, switching on and off, moving at a maximum speed of 186,262 miles per second. Thus, in one second an electromagnetic wave could circuit the earth more than seven times. Although we are bathed in a sea of visible light, many do not realize that we are also bathed in a sea o f invisible “ light,” that is, electromagnetic waves which are not detected visually. Radio and television waves are electromag­ netic waves. So also are heat waves, ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma rays. How do these

differ? Only in the rate at which they “ switch” on and off, or vi­ brate. Physicists call this fre­ quency. X-rays have very high frequencies, between 30 million billion and 300 billion billion vi­ brations per second, while radio waves have frequencies ranging from 30 to 3 trillion vibrations per second. The selection o f “ light” as an analogy to Christ seems to me to be very appropriate. The different types of “ light” remind me o f the different aspects o f the work of Christ. Radio waves suggest the fact that we have an open avenue of communication with Him. Heat or infrared waves remind me of the warmth that comes as we fel­ lowship with Christ. Visible light reminds me that He has given us a revelation of Himself and His plan of salvation in the Scrip­ tures so that we can know Him. Ultraviolet light emphasizes His work of cleansing since it is often used in hospitals and in meat plants for sterilization. X-rays re­ mind me of the fact that Christ sees us as we really are, not as we appear externally to others. Gamma rays are extremely pene­ trating electromagnetic w a v e s which are often used in the treat­ ment o f cancer since they can destroy cancerous cells. This re­ minds me that He has the power to destroy the cancer o f sin. Doesn’t it seem appropriate for this scientific age that Christ chose this simple, yet at the same time complex, physical entity as an analogy to Himself? Be] Mr. Graham is assistant Professor of Physical Science at Biola College, La Mirada, California.

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