Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Before Time Began

In the beginning..... People are fascinated with beginnings, whether they are beginnings in our lives, beginnings of the human race, or beginnings of our universe. Since 1950 there have been two major scientific beliefs concerning our universe and whether it had a beginning.

The steady-state hypothesis, prevalent until the 1960s, held that the universe was basically changeless over time. In the steady-state view there was no beginning and no end of time. In other words, what we see always existed and always would exist. Fred Hoyle popularized this hypothesis around mid-century. During the 1960s, Big Bang cosmology replaced steady-state. With the Big Bang, there was a BEGINNING to our universe. Space and time, matter and energy, had a beginning ex nihilo, out of nothing. The creative agent, the uncaused cause, was God Himself. The Big Bang concept is in vibrant harmony with Genesis 1:1.

A quote from Astronomy magazine, October 2007, speaks of the overwhelming accumulated evidence that a Big Bang actually occurred. "Every instant of every day, evidence that the universe began in a cosmic fireball stares us in the face." Hundreds of independent scientific tests confirm the truth of the Big Bang, intricate details of what happened, and precise knowledge about when it occurred (13.73 billion years ago). These are not mere speculations. Skilled scientists have discovered details of the sequence of events and how elements first formed. The order of events and the strength of the forces acting in those first moments had to be fine tuned to an unimaginable degree, or else our universe could not have become the life-friendly place it is. If blind chance had been the agent there would have been no fine tuned cosmos, then, or now.

The New International Version of the Bible speaks of hidden wisdom (I Cor. 2:7), grace given (II Tim. 1:9) and hope promised (Tit 1:2), all before the beginning of time. These are startling verses, confirming the truth that the time and space dimensions of our universe were created by God transcendently -- from outside of our cosmos. He created, out of nothing, the time/space/matter/energy of our existence. Science has discovered many truths, and our Bible spoke about them long ago.