Big bang in bible
ORIGIN 1.1

Big Bang

Universe begins with divine spark

Can a Christian believe the Big Bang?

First paragraph in Bible
'IN THE BEGINNING God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the face of the deep, and the spirt of God was hovering over the waters.'
(Genesis 1:1-2)
In modern language: God created the universe instantly with a release of energy beyond human comprehension, the Big Bang ... everything was vaporized, heat so intense that even light could not penetrate it ... vapors eventually cooled to form the earth and its deep watery surface ... God was getting ready to do something special here!

Note: These first two verses of the Bible are just an introductory summary of God's creation. The other verses of Genesis 1 show how God brought life to earth in six stages ('days'), explained in Origin 1.2.

Old science was 'Steady State'

Until the 1960's, scientists held to the Steady State theory that the universe had no beginning or end in time, that the earth has always existed in one form or another. They scoffed at the Bible for saying that the earth had a beginning.

The first use of the term 'big bang' was by astronomer Fred Hoyle on a BBC broadcast in 1949 when he said that a new theory was being proposed 'based on the hypothesis that all matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.' He argued against the theory and said it was 'irrational and outside science.'

However, as a result of better telescopes and instrumentation, by the 1980's the 'Big Bang' had become the dominant theory of astronomers and astrophysicists.

New science is 'Big Bang'

Today, the Big Bang theory is generally regarded as settled science. The universe started with a 'singularity' (Christians say 'God'), then exploded, expanding and cooling over the next 13.8 billion years into the cosmos we know today – and it's still expanding!

In the first second after the universe began, NASA has calculated that the surrounding temperature was more than10 billion degrees Fahrenheit, heat so intense that light cannot pass through it.

Science just discovered what Bible says

The Bible says that 'In the beginning' the earth was 'formless and empty' (quotation at top of page) – just gasses, everything vaporized.

There was 'darkness over the face of the deep' – light could not penetrate the extreme heat; the earth was a deep mass of swirling vapor.

The 'spirit of God was hovering over the waters' (steam condensing); God was giving special attention to planet earth because he planned to do something special here, to create life here.

The Big Bang – known to science for only about 60 years – is what the Bible has been saying for more than 3,000 years!

Universe began externally, not within nature

There are no natural explanations for the universe, either its existence or its purpose.

If the big bang is the beginning of nature, then some intelligence and power outside of nature and above nature had to trigger the Big Bang, to start everything out of nothing, and to establish the predetermined laws of nuclear energy, physics and chemistry that enabled it happen with orderly precision.

Christians believe that divine intelligence and power is the only reason that can explain an instant universe of such magnitude, majesty and precision.

The Bible does not tell when the big bang occurred, but scientists are now almost universally agreed that it was approximately 13.8 billion years ago. See Origin 1.2.1 for reasons from the Bible itself why 'day' in the creation account means more than a 24-hour period.

Earth is very old

Apparently it took about 10 billion years – the time between Genesis 1:2 and Genesis 1:6 – for the earth to cool and form a crust. Then God began shaping the earth and putting life on it.

The stages of transformation are summarized and examined in Origin 1.2.

The compiler/writer of Genesis (generally thought to be Moses) could not have had this amazing scientific insight more than three thousand years ago without special revelation from God.

The earth is still cooling, a whirling glob of molten rock, 8,000 miles in diameter, with a 25-mile crust that supports life, nothing like it anywhere else in the known universe. The place we live is awesome and mostly incomprehensible!

Earth made ready for life

Genesis 1 and the scientific community are now in essential agreement about the beginning of our physical world, the world of atoms.

But there's another part of our world which came later – the non-physical part, even more complex – which is the human soul (mind, will and emotion) and spirit (connection to God).

Man is made in the image of God, a trinity (body, soul and spirit) that mirrors God's trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), discussed in Purpose 2.5.

Science investigates only life in the physical world. Theology investigates life in the spiritual world. Theology continues where science leaves off.

Science and theology both seek truth

There can be no difference between true science and true Christianity because both seek truth – and there is only one truth! Science inquires into the physical, and Christianity inquires into the spiritual. They make different inquiries in different ways, but both are part of the same quest for truth and understanding.

Conflicts between science and the Bible have resulted from lack of knowledge at particular times in history. For example:

  • Christians fought the theory advanced by Pythagoras that the earth is a globe, arguing from simple observation and citing Bible verses that refer to 'the four corners the earth.'
  • Christians fought the theory advanced by Copernicius that the earth revolves around the sun, arguing from Psalms 93:2 ('... the earth is firmly established, it will not be moved') and Psalms 104:5 ('He established the earth upon its foundations ...').
  • Cosmologists scoffed at the Bible for saying that the earth had a beginning, arguing that the Steady State theory had been settled science for centuries.
  • Critics used to 'prove' that the Bible is obviously wrong because it says that light came on Day 1 but the sun didn't come until Day 4.
Today these and similar issues have been resolved by our new understanding of the Big Bang.

Science is making the case for God

Science and the Bible are not enemies.

In fact, science is making the case for belief in a single almighty creator God – ONLY ONE GOD!

In ancient times, people believed in many gods. Even at time of Christ, the prevailing understanding of diety was a pantheon of Gods. And even today, particularly in Hindu areas, more than a billion people worship multiple gods.

People believed that hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts and diseases were the wrath of angry gods. The gods had to be placated with offerings and rituals.

About 4000 BC, God revealed himself to Adam in a physical form as ONLY ONE GOD.

About 2000 BC, Abraham was called by God to go from Turkey (approximate area of Garden of Eden) to Egypt (nearly a two thousand mile walk), carrying that message. He became the father of all monotheists – Jews, Christians and Muslims – teaching the world that there is ONLY ONE GOD.

About 1500 BC, Moses became leader of the Jewish nation (Israel) and received the Ten Commandments from God. The first commandment was, 'I am the Lord your God ... You shall have no other gods before me.' The main theme of the Old Testament – the story of God's chosen people – is that there is ONLY ONE GOD.

About 30 AD, Jesus gave this first commandment for Christians:  ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' ONLY ONE GOD!

Science has been a great help to Christianity by revealing a single master design plan, leaving no doubt that the world is NOT run by a pantheon of gods. For most people today, the choice is not which spiritual diety to worship, but whether to acknowledge and obey the ONLY ONE GOD (singular).

We now know that natural disasters and illnesses are not caused by wrath of the gods but by natural laws emanating from an intelligent and predictable master plan of life.

KEY POINTS
  • Logic. It is irrational to believe that the universe just happened by itself by chance from nothing. The universe bears ample evidence of super-natural intelligence and power.
  • Big Bang. The Bible says that the universe was created instantly in a burst of divine energy. God spoke it into existence. The earth was just heated gasses at first, but over billions of years God cooled and shaped it, and then put life on it.
  • Bible was right. It is only within the last sixty years that science has come to acknowledge that the earth had a formless beginning from massive external power, just as the Bible has been saying all along.
  • Divine revelation. It is highly unlikely that the writer of Genesis could have known three thousand years ago about the Big Bang – science just discovered it now! – without divine revelation from the designer/creator. This increases our confidence in the Bible.
GOING DEEPER
MAIN STORY LINE
God designed and created the universe, immense and complex beyond human comprehension, with billions of stars and planets in constant motion and change.
The earth was just a relatively tiny piece of the cosmos, a whirling mass of molten rock and gas (mostly water vapor) ... but 'the spirt of God was hovering over the waters.' God was getting ready to do something special here! Unlike anything else in the known universe! What??
< BackHomeMenuPrintNext >
or tap top part of any page at any time