In the Beginning

Astronomers have discovered what they believe to be the original building blocks of the universe: slight ripples of matter spread throughout space. They say it confirms the big bang theory. The scientist who made the discovery said, "It's like looking at God." Astronomy students at one university pinned up a cosmic map and wrote across it, "Behold the Face of God." Well, that's going a bit too far. Yet it's true that the big bang theory has demolished one of the most potent arguments against faith in God. For centuries, most scientists believed the universe was eternal. They argued that there was never a time when matter didn't exist, and hence there is no need for a God to create it. the big bang changed all that. Matter is not eternal after all, the theory says. It had a definite beginning. And if the universe had a beginning, then it is logically respectable again to ask what—or Who—set it going. Astronomy has cracked the door open to a Creator. And yet, all is not well with the big bang. For many astronomers, the big bang is the first step in a theory of cosmic evolution, aimed at explaining the origin of stars and galaxies and everything else in the universe by purely natural causes. God may have lit the fuse on the primal explosion, say evolutionists, but after that natural laws took over. But exactly which laws are they talking about? Are there natural processes that can build a cosmos out of a gas cloud? That can create order from random atoms? If we look at the cosmic processes at work today, we see exactly the opposite: processes of disorder and dissolution. When we turn our telescopes on the skies, we see that stars and galaxies are constantly losing mass, constantly using up energy. Sometimes stars even blow themselves up in violent explosions. A supernova is a star blowing itself up. Chicken Little was not far mistaken: The sky is falling apart. So where are the natural processes that supposedly created the universe? If we stick to actual observations—and, after all, science is supposed to be based on observation—we don't see the universe building itself up. We see it running down. And if the universe is running down, then it's logical to think that at some time it was "wound up." At some time the stellar fires were lit, the planets were set in their orbits. Creationists believe there were two distinct phases: a period of creation, in which the cosmos was "wound up," and a period of operation, in which it is winding down. It's a scientific version of the doctrines of divine creation and divine providence. So the next time you read sensational headlines about the big bang theory, be ready to ask some tough questions. Where's the evidence that the universe can create itself? Where do we see it happening today? The truth is, there is no evidence. The idea that the universe is self-creating is pure faith. As Christians, we don't ever have to be apologetic about having faith. Everyone does. What we ought to be showing people is that our faith fits the facts.


Chuck Colson


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