I’m taking a fascinating apologetics course entitled “Creation and the Bible” offered by Reasons To Believe. The course provides a great opportunity to take a different tack to Bible study. It’s like strapping a lawnmower engine to the back of your devotional life and yanking the starter cord. Wow, what a blessing!
In the midst of a great deal of cerebral reading about Special and General Revelation, Martin Luther’s ideas on Sola Scriptura, Old-Earth Creationism, Dual Revelation, and Philosophical Reductionism (no one will speak to me at parties now—I’m sure), I started reflecting on the magnificence of the Creator and his ongoing creation. We can read the creation account in Genesis 1 & 2, and struggle to fathom what that was like 13.7 billion years ago, but to really appreciate its magnificence, look at the science of astronomy. Yes, God created, but importantly, he creates.
These whimsical, other-worldly images are photos from the Hubble Telescope. Photos! So if you want to debate whether or not God can do any particular thing, look at the worlds he is creating right now. It’s pretty hard to argue—God has impressive credentials.
Dave Rudy recently sent this link that demonstrates the scale of the Universe (it requires Flash). Scroll your mouse wheel to go into to the smallest theoretical building blocks of matter or back out to the outer limits of space. As you get way out there, you’ll begin to appreciate how massive these created worlds are. And there are billions of them in the night sky.
Psalm 19 states, “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 display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” These verses support the doctrine of General Revelation—that God reveals himself through his physical creation (nature), and that this revelation is universally evident. The Bible (Scripture) is his inspired Special Revelation, where he makes clear those things which cannot be revealed by observing the natural world, such as the person and teaching of Jesus Christ and the resurrection.
As Lon Solomon would say, “So what?” So we have two categories of revelation. Great. Huzzah for theologians. But before yawning over General and Special Revelation consider this: what if all that groundbreaking scientific research can bring to bear regarding our understanding of the Universe actually supported God’s special revelation in the Scriptures? In other words, how exciting would it be to discover that faith and science are not in conflict, but actually compliment each other? What if some of the smartest and most gifted scientists—men and women who had distinguished themselves in fields like astrophysics and bioengineering—could use their studied observations about the physical world to corroborate what we read in the Bible? Apologetics offers all that and more. All it takes on our part is a little effort to hear them out. You might be very surprised, as I am, to discover just how far these brainiacs can run with hard scientific evidence that proves what was written thousands of years ago by inspired writers. It’s not just a few thoughts by a few scientists—it’s a landslide of evidence offered by an intellectual multitude.
If you want a real treat, get the Dual Revelation DVD—it gave me goosebumps. These apologists have a powerful and refreshing way of looking at faith and the Bible. You don’t have to park your brains at the door to be a Christian. More to the point, our physical world does declare the glory of God. But then again, someone came to that conclusion a long time ago.
April 1st, 2012 at 9:04 pm
A sad update. I was playing with the “Scale of the Universe” link, and zoomed out to 10 to the 17th power. The Pillars of Creation (the second photo above) show up 7,000 light years from Earth, but were apparently destroyed 6,000 years ago by a supernova. So we ony have another thousand years to look at them. Mind boggling!
April 9th, 2012 at 11:44 am
John.. if you and Dave have not already seen it then here is something I think that you would enjoy watching.. by Lou Giglio,PhD., one of my favorite speakers and which can be found on YouTube. It is a wonderful illustration of the relative relationships between ourselves and the other entities of our universe…
You will love Louie’s message.. I PROMISE!! He shows very astutely how great is our God from a specific astrological perspective.. he gives an amazing presentation ! My daughter showed me this after dinner one night.. she said beforehand that I would enjoy it very much and I surely did.. smiled just about through the whole presentation… I will almost guarantee that you will share this with others…
You will need to allow yourself about 45 minutes for this internet presentation which is in five parts and needs to be “clicked on” for each consecutive segment. I watched it on Erica’s laptop but it would be even more impressive if you have a larger screen to view it on…
You can obtain a copy of this presentation on DVD for home viewing…
So.. when you have about an hour free time:
– Please go to http://www.YouTube.com
– search : Louie Giglio
– Find: HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD Tour.. There are a couple of others also but this is the one I am speaking of;
– Again, there will be five clips / segments.. about eight minutes long each.. to the presentation.. ENJOY!!! 🙂
April 9th, 2012 at 4:17 pm
Thanks Thom, I will watch the videos (I’m always interested in good content.) Thanks for sharing, and thanks to Erica!
April 14th, 2012 at 2:55 pm
I just finished watching the Louie Giglio video. Wow! Here’s the link http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PtpTk2ENq7o. We all take God’s creation for granted, possibly because it is so easy for us to normalize sunsets, starry nights, laughter, light, rest, physical and spiritual nourishment, and everything else in our daily lives. Giglio’s presentation was a powerful “wait a minute” reminder. It also encourages me because in sharing this material you contribute to the purpose for which this blog is designed–namely sharing resources that corroborate the Bible. If we just stop and think, it all points to God. Through your sharing others will no doubt be encouraged. Likewise Dave Rudy shared the Scale of the Universe tool linked in this post. Thanks Thom and Dave!