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The Bible and the Message From Space

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(Last Updated:  17 Jan 2009 )

This article was in a book by Fred Heeren called Show Me God:  What The Message From Space Is Telling Us About God - How it Shocked Einstein, and How You Too Can Get a Bang Out of the Universe (1995, Searchlight Publications, Wheeling, Illinois). The author granted permission for the reproduction of the article.

What can we learn from this century's greatest astronomical discoveries?

Discovery 1—1919:

Discovery 2—1927:

Discovery 3—1965:

Discovery 4—1970s:

Discovery 5—1992:

What does all this have to do with the Bible?

Among all the ancient peoples, only the Hebrews got their cosmology right.  While the rest of the world believed in a magical, eternal universe that gave birth to the gods, only they believed in an eternal, transcendent God who gave the universe its beginning.

Like every cause, the Cause of the universe must be independent of its effect.  Thus, the first cause must be separate from the universe, not a part of it.  From ancient times, the Bible has clearly presented Gos as non-physical, a Spirit who cannot be contained, even by the heavens.  Unlike other ancient religious writings, the Bible prohibited the making of images of God, making it a point to teach that He is not a physical being.

The consensus of modern science is that the universe—and time itself—had a beginning.  Nothing that is confined to time could have created the cosmos.  God must not only be separate from His creation, but He must exist outside of time.  Again, from ancient days, the Bible specifically defined God as the I AM, operating outside of time and existing before the universe He created.

Perhaps the universe had a beginning, but how do we know that it didn’t begin by chance?

Stephen Hawking wrote, "If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed before it ever reached its present state."  Slightly faster than the critical rate and matter would have dispersed too rapidly to allow stars and galaxies to form.  George Smoot describes the creation event as "finely orchestrated".

Carl Sagan admits:  "It is easy to see that only a very restricted range of laws of nature are consistent with galaxies and stars, planets, life and intelligence."

Hawking cites that critical ratio between the masses of the proton and electron as one of the many fundamental numbers in nature.  He adds:  "The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."

The calculations of Hawking’s associate, Roger Penrose, show that the highly ordered (low entropy) initial state of the universe is not something that could have occurred by even the wildest chance.

When Fred Hoyle calculated the probability that carbon would have precisely the required resonance by chance, he said that his atheism was greatly shaken, adding:  "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics."

Princeton Physicist Freeman Dyson writes, "The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming."  NASA astronomer John O’Keefe says, "It is my view that these circumstances indicate that the universe was created for man to live in."

But isn’t religion just a cultural phenomenon, a form of superstition?

For many it is.  But perhaps the ultimate superstition is to believe that this physical universe is imbued with mystical powers that enable it to bring itself into existence and then to finetune itself.

In the matter of deciding who’s running the universe, we all have just three choices:  the universe itself, humankind, or God.  Because a cause must precede its effect, the first two options violate logic, especially now that we know that the universe did not exist in eternity past.

Atheism and pantheism are difficult to reconcile with modern findings.  But the Bible fits perfectly, telling us that God is not just a force that’s one with the universe, but who is separate from His creation.  And like modern physics, the Bible points to a Creator who is super-intelligent, a perfectionist who cares about us a great deal.

Then why would God let our world get into such a mess?

Indeed, the most important implication of a perfectly designed universe is that a perfect Designer would do something about the problem of evil in our world.

So what might a super-intelligent, caring Creator do?  Make creatures who have no wills of their own, so they cannot bring evil into His perfect universe?  Not if God desired to have an eternal relationship with a people who would willingly return His love.  The very idea of a real will to love requires the real possibility of a person’s will being used to reject.

So what might be God’s options, after His race of free-willed creatures broke the harmony of His universe (as they have obviously done in our case)?  He could exterminate them.  He could simply overlook their injustices.  He could leave them alone to let them try to straighten out their own mess.

But none of these options show the forethought of a perfect, super-intelligent, caring Creator.  The Bible, the one book that gave us a true picture of God since ancient times, gives us the one solution that shows great care and forethought, though we might never have thought of it ourselves.  What did God do?  He died for us.  He showed both perfect justice and unbounded mercy.  And by doing so, He gave those who wanted to be reconciled to Him the chance to be forever changed, to be eventually made into fit company for Him throughout eternity.  This was His plan "before time began" (1 Corinthians 2:7).

But what about this Biblical idea of God becoming man?  What about the concept of sacrifice?  Aren’t these primitive concepts?

If the Creator of the universe wanted to communicate to us (moderns and ancients both) what He is like, how could He show us more clearly than by becoming one of us?  If He wanted to communicate to us the seriousness of breaking His moral law, how could he show us more forcefully than by demanding that the most valuable thing in the universe be forfeited as a penalty?  And if he wanted to tell us how much He loves us, how could He do so more dramatically than by dying for us?

But giving intellectual assent to the historical idea that Jesus died on a Roman cross won’t change anyone’s life.  Biblical faith always implies personal trust, a personal relationship.  This relationship gives us the ability to talk to Him, not just about Him.

This relationship, after all, is the reason He created us.  It means our lives aren’t pointless;  we don’t live only to have all memory of us snuffed out in a few generations and throughout eternity.  Rather, we find access to eternity through the One who exists outside of time.  This is the one relationship that can give our lives lasting value.

Information taken from the book, Show Me God.  This and other literature available from:  Searchlight Publications, 326 S. Wille Avenue, Wheeling, IL 60090 (1-800-743-7700).  Related information can also be found at the Reasons To Believe website.

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