Thursday, June 17, 2010

Listener Reaction

The current John Ankerberg Show science series continues to generate considerable interest among listeners. The series began with a discussion of the "Big Bang" and continues with topics ranging from fine tuning of the universe and life forms to the poverty of evolution and naturalistic explanations, to the agreement of scientific findings with the days of the Genesis creation account. Finally, science helps us answer some difficult theological questions.

Following are excerpts from concerns expressed in response to the current science series:

* I see no reason to accept the idea that God needed a big bang to create anything. This...appears to be conceding the idea of creation as described in Genesis to the "scientists." Is God incapable of creating the universe in 6 days?

* God stretched forth the light beams also at the same time as the universe He created. Both the light beams and stars were also created at the same time...not billions of years ago but only 6000 years ago and in one spoken moment.

* Your millions of years creation discussions we watched tonight were troubling. The truth of the first two chapters of Genesis is being contorted to agree with what "science" tells us.

* I am perplexed as to how one can reconcile the millions or billions of years since the "big bang" with the clearly stated 7-day creation of Genesis 1.

* I am shocked that you would even think that the big-bang "theory" has anything to do with the 6 days of creation!

Many people have commented that God does not "need" millions of years to create this universe or this world. Their concept of creation does not include an event of incredible magnitude such as what is now known as the Big Bang. When I taught astronomy, I referred to the Big Bang as "God's initial creative act," bringing this universe into existence. Our human judgments about what God needs or what He did not or would not do originate in thinking limited by our mortality. The brief story of creation was not meant to convey specific time frames or detailed accounts of events as we, in the 21st century, are able to do for events of our era. The central message of Genesis 1-2 is that God is the Creator of all things; therefore, we honor Him and are accountable to Him.

After we acknowledge the truth of this central message, what, then, may we say about the so-called Big Bang? 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 of our universe were created by God transcendently--from outside of our cosmos. He created, out of nothing, the time, space, matter, and energy of our existence. Science has discovered many truths, and our Bible spoke about them long ago.