God and the Big Bang
Faith and True Science are Not Incompatible
There are some Christians who are fearful of the Big Bang Theory which is a scientific way of explaining how the universe came to be. They feel that this view clashes with the biblical understanding of the creation of the universe. But is this true?
I am a Christian pastor and believe in a literal interpretation of Scripture. So I can understand where these people are coming from. But does the Big Bang theory in and of itself clash with the idea that God created the heavens and the earth? Can Science and the Bible be reconciled on the idea of how the universe came into existence?
It is the contention of this article that there is nothing irreconcilable between the belief of modern Science on the beginning of the Universe and the teachings of Scripture. Let us take a look at how the Bible and true Science fit together perfectly.
I. Disagreements Between the Big Bang and Creationism
According to the Big Bang theory, the universe started out as small, very hot and dense. There were obviously no stars or atoms and no form or structure at this time. Scientists call it a "singularity". Then it is believed that around 14 billion years ago space expanded very quickly which resulted in the formation of atoms and eventually to the creation of stars and galaxies. The universe continues to expand to this very day. At the same time, it is cooling down.
After the initial expansion, it is said that the Universe cooled off enough to allow for subatomic particles and later simple atoms. From this, giant clouds of these primordial elements, which they say included mostly hydrogen, lithium, and helium, came together or coalesced because of gravity, eventually forming stars and galaxies.
In looking at this theory it would appear that there are two major disagreements that can be pointed out between the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe, at least as an atheist or agnostic Scientist would see it versus a Scientist or theologian who believes in the literal biblical account that is given.
1. Billions of Years Versus Six Days
First of all, there are the 14 billion years that some Scientists say it took for the known universe to come into being as opposed to the six days of Genesis chapter 1. To be fair, there are Scientists who are Christians but don't take the first chapters of the book of Genesis literally and believe that God created the Universe over this extended period of time. The trouble with this is that we are heading for a lot of problems if we accept the Bible as the Word of God and start to determine which parts to take literally and which parts to assume are not literal. Especially, since you don't have to give in to the theories of Scientists who want to disprove God's existence. When God creates, processes that might take lots of time can be done instantly. We can see this, for example in the creation of the first man and woman. Presumably, they were created as adults and did not start as embryos. An Almighty God can do what He wants to do.
2. The Eternity of Matter Versus God's Creation of Matter
The second major problem is the fact that many evolutionary Scientists believe that matter, in some way, is eternal. In order for there to be a singularity that exploded you have to have matter from which the Big Bang began. The question then would be, is it easier to believe in eternal matter or an eternal God who created matter?
We live in a cause and effect Universe. Everything that happens, we can go back and see a cause. If there is a hole in your wall, for instance, it just didn't get there unless the wall was made with a hole by the wall maker in the first place. It may have been caused by someone kicking the wall. Or perhaps someone threw something at it. But it simply doesn't just appear. In the same way, matter just can't just suddenly appear out of nowhere. And it simply cannot be eternal. It has to have a cause. Obviously, in the known natural Universe you can't explain the cause of matter. It can't create itself.
There is an old Latin phrase which can be applied here. It says "Ex nihilo, nihil fit". This means "Out of nothing, nothing comes." If we follow the rules of nature, matter must have had a beginning. Just as Science is finally catching up to the fact that the universe began from something, so must matter have begun. So the best way to explain it is a cause outside of the known universe in which we live. That cause, according to Christian teaching, is God.
II. The Process of Creation
The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:1 that:
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
The passage then breaks creation down into 6 days with each day the Lord creating something else. His crowning creation is man because only mankind was said to be created in the image of his creator. Here is Genesis 1:26-28 to speak for itself:
"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it.' So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth."
Think for a moment. What if we could have observed the process of God creating all that there is? Might it not look like a Big Bang as He spoke and creation came together? The Bible does not speak in Scientific terms because it wasn't meant to be a Science book. It simply tells us who created and that by His commands all things were made. Scripture doesn't go into detail as to the physical things that were happening during creation. But might the physical process by which all was created resemble what the Scientists call the Big Bang Theory? I dare say that they would. And the only reason that these things would have to take billions of years is if you remove the Supernatural element from the process, which Evolutionary Scientists have, of course, attempted to do.
Someone has said that "the Big Bang is God speaking the Universe into existence and bang, it was there!" That, in a nutshell, is how He probably did it. He may have started out with the matter that He had created as a "singularity" if He wanted to do this and He could have used a process like the theory proposed by the Scientists if He desired. The central teaching of Scripture is that God did it and that He did it all in just six days from nothing. He spoke and it occurred. This is nothing for an all-powerful, sovereign God.
It is interesting to me that, to an atheist, what I am proposing may sound foolish. However, the alternative sounds perfectly sane to him.
III. The Alternative to Creation
The Bible tells us that:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge." (Psalm 19:1).
How foolish it seems to look at the seeming intricate design of all that is in existence and how it all works together in systematic harmony and say that there is no designer that made it. The old comparison to the watch and the watchmaker is fitting. No one would look at a watch and see all its intricacies and workings and say that there is no watch designer. But they will look at a Universe and everything in it, which is far more complicated, and deny the existence of a God who made it all.
Further, how foolish it also seems that someone would think that life came from non-life when there are no indications that this has ever happened in the past, is happening now, or ever will happen. Science gave up the idea of spontaneous generation of life many years ago. However, they seem to hold out hope for it in the area of how things all began.
Someone who teaches evolution would argue that evolutionary theory doesn't even talk about how life began. However, if you say that there is no creator of life, you must either cover it or hide the fact that you have no idea where life came from. Most choose just not to talk about it, at least publically. Some that do talk say that possibly aliens from another planet could have come to bring the first life source. There is absolutely no evidence of this either but many would rather believe this than believe that there is a God to whom we are all accountable.
If I have to choose between God and atheistic evolution I will choose God every time. I don't have enough faith to believe in evolution.
The bottom line is that true Science in general and the Big Bang Theory specifically, are not incompatible with the Bible. The problem is that Science, which began as a way to think God's thoughts after Him and to learn about His creation and the laws that He has set up, has mostly been taken over by those who don't believe in God. And they have an agenda to explain the world in completely natural terms.
However, there are certain things which cannot be categorized and quantified by anyone. Further, evolutionary theory is not something which can be duplicated and replicated in a lab and therefore cannot be called science in the truest sense. And the Big Bang leaves much room for the Supernatural.
For those who believe in a Creator God, don't let anyone make you feel inferior or dumb. The evidence is on your side. And one day, you will be proven right! For God through Christ, will one day reveal Himself and every eye will see Him. Then all will know without question that God spoke and "bang", it all happened just as He wanted it to occur. God will have His day!!
© 2018 Jeff Shirley