Sunday, September 1, 2013

P2 Some more reflections on cosmogeny

Psalm 33:6 "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host."


Yesterday we began considering how the Biblical record of origins of the universe contrasts with other ancient records of origins from other religions and cultures of antiquity.  The universe is not just a random collection of objects that arose out of non-being into being, but is in actuality a creation. We offered a definition of creation from our study of scripture and the Baptist faith & Message 2000: God brought into existence by the word of His mouth the universe, life and humanity.  Anytime we speak on the subject of the origin of universe, we call such an area "cosmogeny" (beginning or genus of the universe, which is also called cosmos).  

With that review of yesterday, we now can turn to today's post and offer some more reflections on this important area of the origin of the universe or "cosmogeny". 

The Book of Genesis was uniquely inspired and accurate among other records of antiquity
We contended that the Biblical record is unique and Divinely inspired, whereas the other accounts of origins had their starting point at the false religious system promoted at the tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9.  Such a scenario in which all of humanity was centrally located and speaking the same language after the flood best explains why different religions and languages tell the same lie of primordial conflict to bring about the universe.
Whenever you read Genesis 1 and the nearly 60 other Bible passages that speak on creation, you discover major contrasts to the above would-be contenders:

A. There is no big battle or primordial conflict between multiple deities nor is there any episode where God has to consult with lesser deities.  God alone had control and created "in the beginning".  The first three days of Genesis 1:1-13 would had been used by Moses to refute belief systems like the Babylonian version.

B. In the Bible God creates the sun on the fourth day along with the moon and stars in Genesis 1:14-19.  God's revelation of this truth to Moses would had been necessary to refute the Egyptian cosmogeny or theory of origins that claimed the sun to be a creator.  

C. Only the Bible mentions definitive days in the creative episode "first day", "second day" etc.  No other religious nor secular account of origins mentions any definitive record of time frames.  Genesis and the Bible alone shows that God is supreme over time and history itself, and that time and history is dependent upon Him for its existence.

With the Genesis account being unique among the other mistaken records of antiquity on the origin of the universe (cosmogeny), what about the versions we hear circulated today? 

The Genesis creation account of the universe is completely different, unique and true from other would be contenders today
Theories such as the Big Bang and other secular models of origins employ the tools of science and complex mathematical equations to communicate their accounts of origins.  With that said, the worldview driving the Big Bang model is one that believes all existence arose out of material processes (a worldview called materialism).  Whenever you consider their most fundamental foundations, they are really no different than the ancient accounts.  Genesis 1 and the nearly 60 other scriptures about creation can still be used today to give the only correct account of the origin of the universe.  What modern options of origins are there today and how do they compare with the Bible?  Below is a summary of the options and issues one typically encounters when comparing modern worldviews of origins versus the Biblical account.

A. Either the universe is eternal, self created or created by God.  
Secular theories of origins like the Big Bang suggest the universe popped into existence nearly 14 billion years ago by chance.  Other secular theorists suggest our universe is in an eternal Big Bang/Big Crunch cycle that goes on and on for eternity.  In all observable scientific experiments and measurements, we know that there is not enough energy in all of the universe to render the conclusion that it is eternal.  All available, usable energy in the universe is declining, meaning that the universe is like a clock that is winding down (called in physics the second law of theremodynamics).  Therefore the universe had a beginning.  Likewise no known physical process or scientific measurement can demonstrate that something pops into being out of nothing.  Lest there is a more Powerful force than the universe itself bringing it into being out of nothing, all theories that claim the universe's self-creation are not supported by science, and are nothing more than hypothesis or educated proposals. In contrast, the Biblical record has the universe created out of nothing by the all powerful, Triune God, as well as having a definite beginning.    

B. Either the universe is billions of years old or thousands of years old.  
Every secular model for the origin of the universe proposes that the universe is at least 13.7 billion years old.  Other models suggest trillions of years to eternal in age. In Christian thought, some have tried to align the Biblical text to read the alleged time scale of modern astronomical models. Only the recent Biblical creation interpretation preserves the Bible's affirmation that God's creation was originally good and that no death nor dying took place until after the fall.  

C. Either the universe popped into being randomly or was created with fixed laws by the All-powerful, Intelligent Creator.  
Astronomy as a science must be distinguished from whatever worldview or understanding of reality is driving the science.  If one's worldview believes that all existence arose from material processes, then that worldview will color how one theorizes about the formation of galaxies, planets, etc.  However if one holds that the all powerful Triune Created all things, there will be an anticipation of pattern and purpose. Order (cosmos) can never emerge out of chaos.  When one studies the history of science in general, many of the pioneers of science were Christians and many of the assumptions used in science today were borrowed from scripture.

Perhaps the most fundamental assumption in science is that there is an objective reality that can be measured and that as a definite order and pattern (a "cosmos").  Though many secular scientists may deny the existence of God, the scientific method which they  employ is being used from the "borrowed capital" of a Judeo-Christian understanding of the universe as a "cosmos", not a "chaos" or disordered environment.  As you view creation through the microscope or telescope, you discover amazing order and design that is not a mirage, but evidence of the One who is the source of all order and design.

D. Either God and the universe are completely different, both are the same or both are one and the same.  
If we say God is the universe or that God and the universe are same, we are no different than the ancient worldviews that were shown to be false and unreliable by the scriptures.  The Bible alone proclaims God being radically different and the origin of all things.  To believe otherwise is not only unbiblical but illogical, since chaos cannot produce cosmos (order) nor non-intelligence produce intelligence.  


My hope is that these collections of thoughts can be used by others and perhaps for more detail and structured blog posts in the future. May the Lord Jesus Christ be honored and glorified as you see His handiwork in creation all around you. 

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