Perhaps the major 20th century scientist was Albert Einstein. His theory of relativity has guaranteed his place in science's gallery of geniuses. But Einstein was also a fool-and I can say that on the authority of the word of God. Einstein's published views on religion were somewhat ambivalent. For example, he once said, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Such statements have been the subject of much debate, and have been used by some to back up arguments in favour of faith. However, in a letter dated January 3, 1954 that was auctioned in London last month he wrote to the philosopher Eric Gutkind and gave his views on God, the word of God, religion and the Jews as God's chosen people.
Einstein described belief in God as "childish superstition." As one of the world's most famous Jews, Einstein was asked to become Israel's second president. He refused but said that he identified with them. He wrote, "The Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people." He added: "As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen' about them."
He was scathing about the Bible: "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." He utterly repudiated all religion, including Judaism: "For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions."
There can be no doubt that Albert Einstein by now knows the utter folly of his views-too late for his change of mind to do him any good. He was undoubtedly a man of immense ability but he was a fool who perverted the ability his Creator had given him to deny the Giver. That is not my opinion; it is the plain statement of God Himself. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).
I must say that I find no joy in reporting Einstein's religious views. It is ineffably sad to think of any man dying with such a denial of God in his heart. We are dealing with the eternal destruction of a human soul. The Bible is unequivocal: "He that believeth not shall be damned." Wishful thinking cannot alter the awful reality that one of the 20th century's most celebrated men-a man eulogized for his intellectual powers-lived his life as the ultimate fool. Einstein's words about the Bible are applicable to his own views: "No interpretation no matter how subtle can change this."
Let us be clear on one thing. The reason for Einstein's atheism was not intellectual. It was rooted in his heart. As the Bible says, "He did not like to retain God in his knowledge." His trouble was heart trouble. He was a sinner and loved his darkness-and that was why he lived in the darkness of hopeless atheism. The father of relativity was wrong-absolutely.