“In the Beginning”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” — John 1:1-3.
This foundational statement is consistent with the entire Bible and with all biblical religions. Long ago the One-and-Only True God created the universe out of nothing (creatio ex-nihilo). Since that primordial event, God has continued the process of creation (creatio continua). His efforts have led to the universe of over 170 billion galaxies, including the Milky Way. This galaxy contains our solar system with its comets, meteoroids, asteroids, moons and planets, including the Earth inhabited by human beings and multitudinous other aspects of nature.
Over the last two centuries, and particularly in the last two generations, physical scientists have been exploring the universe and its nature. For example, they have found that the universe is expanding. Since that fact has been confirmed, a great deal of attention has been focused on the origin of the universe. In other words, What happened when the universe was much smaller and even the smallest? The well-known English astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking (1942- ), has repeatedly and strongly suggested that the universe began from an exquisitely small object termed the “black hole.”1,2 This miniscule object is believed to have possessed/contained all the compressed matter and energy of the forthcoming universe. Then, for some unknown reason, the black hole exploded in what scientists call the “big bang.” For over an estimated 13 billion Earth-years the universe has increased in size and complexity, with the ultimate occurrence of life and of humanity. Scientists like Stephen Hawking are convinced that this cosmic event occurred spontaneously under self-contained laws. They therefore exclude the necessary intervention of deity and conclude that God either does not exist (atheism) or has ignored/abandoned the entire process (deism).
Strangely, however, when scientists like Stephen Hawking discuss the material universe, they admit that they have no unified theory to explain its causation or its existence. Furthermore, they have no knowledge of how the universe or any of its constituents — atoms, molecules, solar systems, galaxies, etc. — are held together and/or are held apart. Speculation regarding this continuity includes such assumptions as the intervention of particles, spatial curvature, waves, strings and vibrations.3 Some fear the possibility of an eventual collapse that they call the “big crunch,” with the subsequent return of the universe to a black hole.
Let us be assured, however, that neither this universe nor the Earth will collapse, die and return to the nothingness of the “black hole.”
From all that dwell below the skies
Let the Creator’s praise arise;
Let His almighty name be sung
Through every land, by every tongue.
Eternal are Thy mercies, Lord,
Eternal truth attends Thy word;
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore,
Till suns shall rise and set no more.4
Indeed, evidence suggests that God will soon appear and will “make all things new” (Revelation 21:5).5
- “Stephen William Hawking . . . (born 8 January 1942) is an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, whose scientific books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity. . . .
“Hawking’s key scientific works to date have included providing . . . theorems regarding gravitational singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, which is today known as Hawking radiation. . . .
“Hawking has a motor neurone disease that is related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [Lou Gehrig’s Disease], a condition that has progressed over the years and has left him almost completely paralysed. . . .
“In his early work, Hawking spoke of ‘God’ in a metaphorical sense, such as in A Brief History of Time: ‘If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God. . . .
“Hawking compared religion to science in 2010, saying: ‘There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority [imposed dogma, faith], [as opposed to] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.’” — Quoted from “Stephen Hawking,” at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking. (go back)
- See “Stephen Hawking: Into the Universe,” Discovery Channel, at dsc.discovery.com/videos/stephen-hawking-story-of-everything. (go back)
- Scientists have used such terms as “Coulomb Force,” “electromagnetism,” “gravitation” and “weak interaction” to identify these entities. (go back)
- Quoted from Isaac Watts (1674-1748), “All That Dwell Below the Skies,” at www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/f/a/fallthat.htm. (go back)
- For a comprehensive and compelling response to “attacks by physicists and other scientists on the God of the Bible,” see Canadian astrophysicist Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress Publishing Group, 1995). (go back)