Big bang

As a Christian can we believe in big bang?

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@Jeshuren Yes, we can believe in the big bang as Christians. Both Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe) and Dr. William Lane Craig (Reasonable Faith) point out that the big bang model agrees with the Bible, which says the universe had a beginning. Pagan religions often predicted that the universe itself was eternal, but the Bible has always been clear that the universe had a beginning and that God is outside the universe.

That being said, the big bang model is just a scientific model. It could change as we discover new scientific evidence. Models are scientists’ attempt to explain what they observe in the universe----they are not actually facts. Accepted scientific models have strong predictive power and match what we observe, but that does not guarantee they are necessarily equal to what is actual going on in the physical universe and they can change as we make new / unexpected observations about the universe.

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@Jeshuren some would say that the big bang is the greatest proof that God is real and that the bible is accurate, of the 20th century :thinking: Let me explain why.

Prior to the 1900s when the big bang was first theorized it was the belief of the majority of the scientific community that the universe was eternal. Here are examples of thinking throughout the ages.

Bertrand Russell: The universe is just there. That’s all.
Aristotle: The idea of a first instant of time is inconceivable.
Epicurus: Truly this universe has always been such as it now is, and so it shall always be; for there is nothing into which it can change, and there is nothing outside the universe that can enter into it and bring about a change.

As a model of a cosmic beginning began to emerge the majority of scientists were opposed to it. Did you know that the term “big bang” was actually coined by Fred Hoyle in 1949 as a derogatory term as it did not align with his steady-state model?

Here are some other examples of the scientific community’s resistance to the big bang, that was shared by John Lennox in the RZIM Academy Science module.

Hoyle proposed a ‘steady-state theory’ to explain the expansion
John Gribbin (1976): Hoyle’s steady-state theory was given impetus by philosophers and theologians recognizing the problems and questions raised by the idea that the universe had a beginning
Sir Bernard Lovell: Neither steady state nor big bang cosmology offers a satisfactory explanation from science so they ‘must move over into metaphysics’ and postulate divine creation.

Lennox also notes that many scientists immediately saw how an cosmic beginning which the big bang theorized would only feed the argument for a creator God.

Christopher Isham - Perhaps the best argument that the Big Bang supports theism is the obvious unease with which it is greeted by some atheist physicists.
Stephen Hawking - Many people do not like the idea that time has a beginning, probably because it smacks of divine intervention.

What evidence do we have for a cosmic beginning? Also known as a space-time beginning or the big bang.

1920s - Alexander Friedman & George Lemaitre: Einstein’s theory of general relativity allows an expanding solution beginning with a singularity.
1929 – Edwin Hubble showed a red shift in spectra in visible light from other galaxies, the Doppler shift effect that indicated the universe was expanding.
1964 - Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered cosmic background radiation, an omnidirectional signal in the microwave band. Their discovery provided substantial confirmation of the big-bang predictions by Alpher, Herman and Gamow around 1950. This basically proved that the universe was expanding and thus had a beginning that it was expanding from. In 1978 Penzias and Wilson were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work. (Taken from Wikipedia)

Here is a beautiful quote from Penzias:

The best data we have are precisely what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.

And finally for the greatest proof for the big bang:

Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
John 1:1-3 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made.

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@Jeshuren, @SeanO and @brianlalor have answered your question very well. They have demonstrated how to answer queries like yours with grace and solid reasoning.

I have nothing to add to their direct answers to your question, but I would like to comment about a broader issue that is pertinent to the application of your question, and to one of the reasons why I am attracted to RZIM Connect.

Your question is related to the young versus old Earth debate. This debate has become one of the most sadly and unnecessarily divisive issues within the Christian family. I personally know someone who was not allowed to teach at a church simply because he believes in an old Earth. I have also listened to a pastor ridicule the Big Bang theory itself in more than one sermon by comparing it to exploding a bomb in a bedroom. A moment’s thought reveals that the Big Bang was not hemmed in by walls, and the comparison fails, yet the audience inevitably laughs. If you were a skeptic who has seriously studied the matter and you were sitting in the midst of that laughing audience, how would you feel?

This is nothing new. St. Augustine warned against such behavior 1,600 years ago in his work, The Literal Meaning of Genesis. General revelation is special revelation’s beautiful younger sister, not ugly stepsister. We need to be very careful sincerely and openly to examine what Creation tells us in light of, and in partnership with, God’s Word. If we are to claim that our faith is based on a logical interpretation of eyewitness evidence of Jesus’s and the Apostles’ contemporaries, then we must also allow the peer-reviewed, logical interpretation of eyewitness evidence of scientific discovery to run its course without denigrating it in any way. If we denigrate efforts to explain origins such as the Big Bang theory that are based on empirical observation, then we set our children up for failure by teaching them that empirical evidence is only good insofar as it supports our (or their college professors’) worldviews. This too closely resembles the postmodernist and relativist thinking that should be anathema to Christians. This is the type of thing that leads to collapses of faith.

This is an issue that belongs in the Romans 14 category of freedom of conscience. John Lennox applies this principle in the way that he handles differing interpretations of Genesis 1 with such grace and tact. RZIM team members also live it day after day, which is why I am attracted to this site. I hope that you spend time listening to and reading their material as I do.

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Thanks dear brother :heart::fire:

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Now i am busy brother so i can’t active on this topic.

Small doubt bro…

–> Big bang is the proof of God,how could we relate this with bible.God created heaven’s and earth that means God just banged by his word?

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@Jeshuren no problem at all that you are busy at the moment. I am very happy to answer your questions about this topic :handshake:

Your question now is in relation to how you decide you will interpret the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis, as @blbossard rightly touched on above. It all comes down to how old you believe the earth is. There have been many discussions about this in Connect already like this one. Here is a short version of the John Lennox video that @blbossard shared.

Some Christians believe that the earth is very young at about 5000 years old while other Christians believe that the world is millions of years old. I have very close family and friends who believe very differently and I love discussing this with them. Do you understand root of the problem now?

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Hello Jeshuren,

As was already mentioned, SeanO, Brianlalor, and blbossard have answered your question quite well from a variety of perspectives (none rendering a judgement, which is fine in this context). I’ll also chime in from a novel perspective; that of changing positions and materialist effort to argue against the Big Bang.

Wrt changing positions, multiple eminent atheists of the mid 20th and early 21st Centuries jumped the atheist ship and became theists, some even Christians. Why? Because the scientific data was overwhelmingly pointing a beginning of the universe, and that beginning necessitated a “first cause.” Since there were no other first cause candidates, God became the exclusive creative conclusion in everyone’s minds (especially the atheists). Atheists such as Anthony Flew, C. S. Lewis, and Francis Collins (and others) were all atheists who were intellectually honest enough to weight the scientific evidence and admit the unavoidable conclusion–there is a God.

Wrt the resource and effort materialists invest in trying to argue against the Big Bang (Dawkins, Pinker, Harris, many others) is a strong indicator of how important this topic (i.e., study your “adversary”). They each (and many other atheists/materialists) argue relentlessly in their book about the impossibility of the Big Band (due to the impossibility of the Singularity) and pushing their materialist alternative (the multiverse). Yet even Hawkins, who was a materialist and multiverse advocate for much of his professional life admitted he was “never a fan” [of the multiverse} do to multiple scientific reasons. Thus, when you get an agnostic of materialist in an honest frame they will have no choice but to admit the lunacy of the multiverse theory (and all its collateral non-sense).

The bottom-line is that if the Big Bang weren’t a threat to atheism, the materialists would just ignore it, yet they invest heavily to argue against it. I hope this helps.

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To follow along with your thought, I have never seen scientists so willing to delve into the realm of utter speculation as when they are trying to avoid the Big Bang by positing the multiverse theory. They even admit that their theory is untestable and unprovable. It is not even that there is no evidence for it, but that there cannot be evidence for it. Yet their willingness to believe in such a theory and continue to study it, to me, is so much evidence of perceptual blindness due to ideology, rather than to some scientific epistemology.

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@Joshua_Hansen All the more reason for us Christians to separate ourselves from the crowd by avoiding infighting over the age of the universe based on unprovable assertions. I was somewhat saddened to hear a good sermon about the fig tree that Jesus cursed outside of Jerusalem marred by a tangent on how God could have made the Universe with the appearance of age. This quite speculative assertion is as unprovable as the multiverse.

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Hello Brendan,

You’re well read and coherent in your thoughts, so no doubt we’ll agree on may things. I don’t agree with you however in associating the scientific evidence for an old universe with the highly speculative footing of the multiverse. The scientific evidence for an old universe (and an old Earth) is overwhelming and there is no credible alternative. YEC’s attempts to conjure excuses and speculations is reminiscent of the multiverse–I don’t believe God needs my help to defend Himself or His truth, and He certainly doesn’t need my fabrications and speculations to do so.

I know YEC positions are from their foundation well-meaning, but they are false, as can be easily tested: if God did create the universe (and therefore Earth) with the appearance of age yet the universe is young, doesn’t that make God deceitful? Why did God do that? Was He in a hurry? Was He late? There is no good reason for God to be in a hurry so why not operate by the natural law He created and allow the universe to develop naturally and in agreement with the law rather than counter to the law?

Because every mode of inquiry agrees that the universe is old, means if the universe is young that God lied numerous times–about the half-lives of radionuclides, the speed of light, the erosion rates of rock, the rate of plant generation of oxygen, the life-cycle of stars, and many many other things. I don’t believe God lied and I don’t believe God’s deceitful; I believe the universe is old, as every mode of evidence agrees.

This doesn’t mean that the Scripture is false, it means that the Scripture is not a scientific text and the authors, audience, original languages, and historical/cultural/ethnic context must be taken into account when interpreting the Scriptures. Further, it is very clear that God chose a narrative (story) mode for communicating Himself to humankind rather than a simple declarative mode (in which case God could have said everything He wanted to say to man in ~10 pages). Our hermeneutic should more liberally admit allegory as so many things in the Bible are antithetical in a strict literal interpretation. If we recognize that Scripture is not a scientific text and that God is speaking to us in Genesis in allegory, we should see reasonable agreement between Scripture and science. Thank you.

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@klineeric To clarify, I meant exactly what you just wrote. I was referring to the speculative nature of assertions about the appearance of age that young earth creationists make. The pastor was using the example of the cursed fig tree to show that God could have made a young earth look old, which bothers me for the reasons that you stated. Thank you for doing my work for me! :grinning: