Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where did the Universe come from?

1. The Universe created itself
2. The Universe is eternal
3. The Universe was created by something else

I heard a theology teacher discuss how science and philosophy agree that these three are our basic options. There are lots of theories about how the universe came about. But they all essential boil down to one of these three options.

And logically speaking, the first option is impossible. Based on all the rules of logic and all the principles of science, nothing can create itself. It is both a logical and a physical impossibility. It's amazing, though, how many "scientists" make option 1 their foundational theory on how the universe came to exist. They claim that at one time there was "nothing." And then somehow (they, of course, have no explanation of how) matter just came into existence. Something that does not exist is nothing. "Nothing" cannot create anything. "Nothing" cannot create at all. "Nothing" can only be and do "nothing." So it is ridiculous to think the universe created itself. "Out of nothing, nothing comes."

Since this idea of a self-created universe contradicts both the foundational laws of science and the foundational principles of philosophy, it can be dismissed easily.

Now we are left with two options. Either the universe always was, or it was created. Essentially, these views present either an eternal universe, or an eternal God who created the universe. Both of these options agree that "something" is self-existent and eternal. They agree that "something" has the power to "be eternally on its own."

When it comes to the beginning of the universe, science sees evidence of a point of singularity. Meaning that those scientists who study the growth and movement of the universe seem to believe that there is evidence that if we were to rewind time, all matter seems to have come from a singular moment and a singular space. They call this the Big Bang theory. This theory states that all the material in the universe has come from one catastrophic explosion.

I am no scientist, but apparently science has been able to speculate about events even up to 10 to the -43 power seconds after the Big Bang. That is a fraction of a second that our brains can't even get around. But they struggle to speculate about what happened before this time or what was around before the infamous "bang." All of this means that according to general relativity the initial state of the universe, at the beginning of the Big Bang, was a singularity, or single point.

Now back to philosophy. Everything within the universe has a cause. If it has come into being, then something before it has caused it to come into being. So if this single point or singularity is the starting point for the Big Bang, then what caused it to come into being? That which caused it to come into being must be, itself, eternal and have no cause. So was this eternal first cause God? Or was the singularity itself eternal?

If this singularity was eternal, then what caused it to catastrophically expand roughly 13.7 billion years ago as scientists suggest. There must have been something acting upon it to affect its behavior. If nothing acted upon it, it would still be in the same state that it had been eternally. It would have never expanded. So what acted upon it to change if from an eternally existent singularity into a "big bang"?

At this point we have reached the limits of current physics and cosmology. Science has no answers for us. But while science has reached it limits, theology has not.

We are left to choose this day which God we will serve. Will we believe that matter is eternal and worship the Universe as god? When the Universe becomes our eternal god, then life is meaningless. We are left to endless cycles of molecular reincarnation. We are left to a life that has no real beginning, no real end and no real purpose in-between.

Or will we believe that there is an eternal God who created a finite universe? Will we bow down at His feet and worship our Creator, who was and is and is to come? Living within this truth gives purpose to life, hope to despair, and meaning to our existence. We can celebrate the findings of science because they point to an eternal God who created something beautiful. The majesty and wonder of our universe is but a reflection of the majesty and wonder of God.


At 8:52 PM, Blogger ballofdirt said...

Well, seems nobody wants to touch this one so I will.
It is error to take mans understanding and insert God into it, glorify God not man. His word is all true or none of it is true. Again I say It is not a grocery store, you can't take what you want and leave the rest.
This is from - Don Batten (editor), Ken Ham, Jonathan Sarfati, and Carl Wieland

Again and again, such leaders admit that Genesis 1, taken in a straight-forward way, seems to teach six ordinary days. But they then say that this cannot be, because of the age of the universe, or because of some other extra-biblical reason!
Consider the following representative quotes from Bible scholars who are considered to be conservative, yet do not accept the days of creation as ordinary days:
‘From a superficial reading of Genesis 1, the impression would seem to be that the entire creative process took place in six twenty-four-hour days ... this seems to run counter to modern scientific research, which indicates that the planet Earth was created several billion years ago’4
‘ ... we have shown the possibility of God’s having formed the earth and its life in a series of creative days representing long periods. In view of the apparent age of the earth, this is not only possible—it is probable.’5
It is as if these theologians view ‘nature,’ as a ‘67th book of the Bible,’ albeit with more authority than the 66 written books.

Consider the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon in 1877:
‘We are invited, brethren, most earnestly to go away from the old-fashioned belief of our forefathers because of the supposed discoveries of science. What is science? The method by which man tries to conceal his ignorance. It should not be so, but so it is. You are not to be dogmatical in theology, my brethren, it is wicked; but for scientific men it is the correct thing. You are never to assert anything very strongly; but scientists may boldly assert what they cannot prove, and may demand a faith far more credulous than any we possess. Forsooth, you and I are to take our Bibles and shape and mould our belief according to the ever-shifting teachings of so-called scientific men. What folly is this! Why, the march of science, falsely so called, through the world may be traced by exploded fallacies and abandoned theories. Former explorers once adored are now ridiculed; the continual wreckings of false hypotheses is a matter of universal notoriety. You may tell where the learned have encamped by the debris left behind of suppositions and theories as plentiful as broken bottles.’6

The entire article is at

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Mark said...

The point of the post wasn't to discuss whether you propose a literal 7 day creation theory, a 7 time-periods creation theory or a theistic evolution theory.
There are lots of theories about how God created and how Genesis describes this.

The point of this post starts further back. I was discussing the issue of "whether God created the universe, the universe created itself, or the universe is eternal." These are the basic three options that all of humanity has to choose from. You and I agree that God created. But many people don't believe God created. And this post was for them.

Before people can come to Genesis and see its truth, many need to trust that it is "reasonable" to believe in a universe that was created by God. The hope of this post is to show that it is a logical and reasonable position to hold that God created the universe. And that it is less reasonable to believe the universe created itself or that it is eternal.

Reason must bow at the feet of faith. But our faith must be reasonable or it is not credible at all. Faith and reason are both gifts from God. And they are not in conflict with each other. They help each other. My hope is that this post reveals that in a small way.

As for your views of creation, I celebrate them. You believe God created and that is all that matters to me. As to "how" he created is less important to me. So if we agree that he created and disagree about the "how," then that is just fine with me.

At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using the Bible and your faith, prove that the God of Abraham created the Universe. I know you can't.

Your post did not show how it is a logical and reasonable position to hold that some imaginary God created the universe. Theology doesn't prove the origins of the universe any more than science does, and I think deep down you know that. At least science looks for evidence based on fact, not the words of some old book of fables. If this post was meant specifically for people that don't believe that the God of Abraham created the universe, you have offered nothing of value to prove your argument.

If anything faith should bow at the feet of reason. What makes you think you know what no man knows, the creator of the universe?

At 5:41 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Please leave your name when you comment. You have good thoughts. But please don't post as "anonymous" on these comments. Thank you.

As to your thoughts: I was not attempting to "prove" that the God of Abraham created the universe. You are smart enough, it seems, to know better.

My attempt was to "show" that it is reasonable to believe that there is a God who created the universe. I would say it is much more reasonable, based on logic not faith, to believe the universe was created than it is to believe the universe created itself.

And I believe it is at least "as reasonable" to believe an eternal God created the universe as it is to believe the universe itself is eternal. Both views need an eternal "something" to hold up.

That was all I was attempting to do. And I believe I did just that. Your claim that I did not show it is "logical" or that it is "reasonable" just shows me that you don't understand what it means for something to be "logical" or "reasonable."

I am not trying to make someone "believe in God". But when faced with these arguments, most philosophers and honest scientists agree that it is at least "reasonable" to believe in a created universe.

As to faith and reason, they are both gifts from God. They are equally good. Faith is a gift for the heart. Reason is a gift for the mind. Both are necessary.

But reason bows to faith because reason can only see and deal with things within the rules of logic. Faith can see and wrestle with things beyond ourselves, beyond our own mind.

But you don't understand that last paragraph because apparently you don't believe there is a God. And because you can't begin to understand what I mean, you choose to "not agree." That's fine.

I wonder how you would respond if someone asked not "if you believe in God" but "whether you would ever want to believe in God." My guess is that not only do you not believe. But also that you don't even want to believe.

Meaning, even if God is real, you won't admit it. Not so much because you don't believe in a god. Or because there is a lack of evidence. But because you don't want there to be a God. You would never want something else, beyond yourself, having control in your life. That thought is too much for you.

And that thought is too much for all of us...before we come to God in faith. Then, our eyes are opened and we see what we couldn't see before. We see that life is better with God at the wheel than it ever was with us there.

But what do I know. I don't even know who you are. But maybe in your next post when you tell me how "wrong" I am, you can leave your name. Thanks.

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if God is real, I won't admit it? I haven't seen enough proof of God being real, to admit it. Maybe when Christians produce something a little more substantial than old myths, I will believe in God. You do see why the Bible seems like a collection of myths right?

I see how it can be reasonable to believe in a created universe I really honestly do, but... How is it reasonable at all to think that your definition of what God is (Jesus)created the universe, with no proof? Am I supposed to just take your word for it, because that seems like an awful big leap to take with no supporting evidence.

I can't begin to understand what you mean? Why is that? I thought that was your role as a pastor to help people begin to "understand". Why can't I begin to understand, anymore than anyone else, or you lol? Am I stupid, that's what you're implying. Arrogant I think (most would agree), and a little mean, especially for a pastor.

I agree that there is something else beyond myself that is in control of my life. That thought really isn't too much to grasp. Now you're just making assumptions, lumping me into a category of what you think non-believers are like. It's funny how narrow-minded you are about non-believers, most of what you think about us isn't true.

You Christians get all defensive and angry when people challenge your beliefs I've noticed.

And I think you know who I am, yeah it's me Satan and I never said that you were wrong. Doesn't matter what my name is really, there's millions of us.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Clearly you are not stupid. This isn't why I said "You can't begin to understand." What I said is like me saying to a person without eyes, "You can't begin to understand color." It is not that a blind person is stupid. It is just that without actually seeing color, no words can help a blind person understand them.

This is how spiritual things are to a person without faith. I don't expect you to understand. Not because you aren't smart. Clearly you have intelligence. But understanding deeper truths of God means seeing through the eyes of faith.

As far as evidence for God, there is plenty. Mostly this evidence is found in the lives of those who have experienced Him. It's also found in nature. But you don't want evidence. You want "proof." And "proof" is not something God gives of Himself.

He gives evidence of His own existence but not "proof." If there was "proof" there would be no faith. And what God desires from us is just that: faith.

As a follower of Christ and as a pastor, it is not my job to "prove" God. He can do that without my help. My job is simply to point people in His direction. After that, it is up to them as to whether they will take the next step.

You said: "I agree that there is something else beyond myself that is in control of my life."

That is a good first step. It seem like the next step would be to discover what that "something" is. I wouldn't want just anything in control of my life. I would want to know what it is, what it is like, and if I could trust it.

There are lots of "gods" in the world that have control over people's lives. It's not enough for us to give just "something else" control. Alcoholics do this with alcohol. Alcohol has control over their life. It is their "god." But it is anything but benevolent.

Finding out the nature and character of that "something else" is of vital importance for a meaningful and good life. And it seems that that might be the next step for you.

Please understand, whoever you are, that I am neither trying to be defensive or arrogant. I have no need to be defensive. God can defend himself better than I ever will.

And I am in no position to be arrogant. We are all beggars in need of God’s grace. I am simply trying to describe what the color red looks like to a guy with no eyes. I am sorry if I am doing a poor job.

If you want a better explanation of our faith, ask God to reveal himself to you in prayer. Read through the Gospels. Ask God if Jesus is legit or just a fairytale. Ask God whether the bible is full of truth or full of mythology. If you are willing to hear from Him, He is willing to speak to you.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger ballofdirt said...

I won't get defensive or angry at your position. I do get frustrated with apostate pastors who don't preach the entire word of God, who don't believe in the God of the bible, but rather a god of their own imagination.

Actually your position takes more faith than mine. You have to believe that from nothing came something. Logic would say that nothing comes from nothing. You are sitting at a computer (millions of time less complicated than your brain)how did it become a computer?
Someone made it?
How do you know, you didn't see them make it.
But you know that because it is so complex that it was not created by an explosion at the computer factory.
Look at the world around us, it is so complex. Your eye has 127 million light sensitive cells that communicate with you brain so you can see. It is not logical that this was an accident.
I am sure this seems to simplistic for you because you seem to be very intelligent. However no matter how intelligent we think we are we can't create anything in nature. Can you create a tree? No, you can plant a seed. Where did the seed come from?

And on and on we can go, I would love to talk to you more about this, is there another format we can use? Here is my email john.foerster@verizon.net.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Mark said...

ballofdirt said: "I do get frustrated with apostate pastors who don't preach the entire word of God, who don't believe in the God of the bible, but rather a god of their own imagination."

Me too.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Mark said...


If you want a fundamentalist convervative, evangelical point of view, then I am not the guy to talk to. But "ballofdirt" is the guy to talk to if you want that perspective of the Christian faith.

"ballofdirt" is a man named John who is a faithful follower of Jesus. He and I agree on the basics of our faith and disagree on some of the nonessentials.

Talking with him and talking with me will give you two perspectives of the same life. A life devoted to Christ.

I would simply add that John doesn't always like how I present the Christian faith. And I don't always like how he presents it. But we are both attempting, the best we know how, to live out the truths of scripture and a life moving toward God.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger ecclesia said...

Anonymous and Mark,

I wasn't going to get in on this one, however I found something interesting on a website I've been getting into. Ken Ham is a speaker for Creation. You talk about wanting proof or evidence of there being a Creator and I think this article defends the Christian point of view quite well.


The evidence and proof is all around us. Scripture tells us everything we need to know and leads us to the Holy Spirit, which helps us apply Scripture in our lives.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger ecclesia said...

Ooops, the link didn't show right, let me try again!


At 7:07 AM, Blogger ecclesia said...

Okay, that last part is creation.asp

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken Ham, lol, the one who accuses others scientists of presuppositions, when every thing he publishes is rife with presuppositions and no real proof for what he is trying to say about creationism, etc.

Adding up all of the "ages" of the people in the Bible, doesn't completely toss carbon-dating methods out the window. How scientific is that? Lol!

Ecclesia, nice try, have you ever heard of the scientific method?

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Good to hear from you. How are the babies?

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I would ask that you be kind to people that disagree with you on here.

I do disagree with ecclesia about "creationism."

There is a large group of scientists who make the "scientific method" their occupation in life. They all also happen to be Christians. They are a group called the American Scientific Affiliation. (www.asa3.org)

Among them is a man named Francis Collins. He is the top of his field in genetics. He was in charge of the human genome project in the 90's. He and his team mapped the human DNA. He is a premier scientist who is respected by everyone in the scientific community. And he is a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.

And there are thousands of scientists just like him, who see no conflict between faith and reason. They see no conflict between the truth God reveals in science and the truth God reveals in scripture. Truth is truth wherever you find it.

Men like Asa Gray, Darwin's chief advocate in the U.S., and Theodosius Dobzhansky, the 20th century architect of evolutionary thinking, held the view of "theistic evolution." That is the view of the ASA and that is also the view I hold.

I believe the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, the God of the bible created the universe. And I believe science gives us a glimpse and how he may have done that. It seems He used and evolutionary process.

Scripture tells us God created. It also tells us who God is and who we are in relation to him. Science reveals the detail of God's design and how he may have created. Both truths can be held together. And they must be held together.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." So truth found anywhere is God's truth. Scientists need not deny the truth of scripture. Christians need not deny the truth descovered in science. Both scripture and the discovery of science are gifts from God.

For more on this, a good book to read is "The Language of God." Amazon has it here:


At 10:39 AM, Blogger Mark said...

To everyone:

Here are the 4 foundational beliefs of the American Scientific Affiliation -

1. We accept the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the Bible in matters of faith and conduct.

2. We confess the Triune God affirmed in the Nicene and Apostles' creeds which we accept as brief, faithful statements of Christian doctrine based upon Scripture.

3. We believe that in creating and preserving the universe God has endowed it with contingent order and intelligibility, the basis of scientific investigation.

4. We recognize our responsibility, as stewards of God's creation, to use science and technology for the good of humanity and the whole world.

These guys are awesome. Many of them are leading scientists in their field of study. Many of them also used to be atheists and agnostics. But, they have encountered the God of creation and put their trust in the transforming power of Jesus Christ.

They have a faith that lives in harmony with their scientific profession. They also have a scientific mind that lives in harmony with their faith in Jesus Christ. They compromise neither the principles of science nor the truths of scripture.

I think Christians, atheists and agnostics alike have a lot to learn from these people.

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Go to: www.asa3.org

At 11:48 AM, Blogger ecclesia said...

Hi Mark! Things are well, thanks for asking.

Okay, so here's a question. According to fossil records and so forth, the earth is 13.7 billion years old or whatever the number is. Apparently there were billions of years that separated each day in creation, according to science and billions of years before man was even created. Scientists believe that there was a lot of death and destruction among animals and forms of life in that time even before man. Now, my question. How could all of that have happened before the Fall? It was the fall that lead to death and destruction.

Here's another thought, which someone led me to the other day, something I never thought about before. Scientists use conditions now to test and prove things, like the age of rocks and so forth. Now, if we think about Mt. St. Helen back in the 80s. It only took three days for it to create a mini grand canyon. Couldn't a massive flood (Noah's time) have done SO MUCH MORE? Have scientists taken that into consideration? Perhaps the environment was different back in the days of creation, so can science prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that their facts and figures are correct? After all, they are basing their tests and theories on conditions now. Do we truly know enough about life back then to completely "re-create" the situation and come up with a theology or theory in science? None of us lived back in that time, so maybe just maybe the scientists actually can be wrong.

I'm not disagreeing with all that science has to offer. I loved doing experiments and stuff back in school. Chemistry was my favorite. Not all science is bad, but I, personally, think we must be careful in how we interpret science when it comes to creation. I believe we need to stop playing God and puff ourselves up with all this knowledge. We need knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures and the guiding of the Holy Spirit. I think if we try too hard to figure it all out, it can lead to pride and boasting, which Paul clearly warns us against.

Call me a literalist, but I have security in knowing God created the universe in just 6 days and rested on the 7th. And that's another point. If billions of years could've separated each day, then does that mean God rested for billions of years? It hardly makes sense. But anyways, I enjoy the mystery of God and how we just spoke the universe into existence and it just happened. To me it shows how great this God is! He's so great, that my tiny little infinite mind can't even begin to explain God. But that's where the security is. Even when I don't know, I know He does and I rest in that. We will never understand the infinite power of God, nor does He want us to here in this life. We're here to bring him glory, so why do we question? Why do we have to PROVE everything? Why can't we just accept that fact that it just is and God is awesome? We didn't create the universe, HE DID! Job 38 makes that clear. Who are we to question? Were we there when He created the universe?

I'm not even going to claim to be an expert in any of this stuff, I think I'm just scratching the surface of all of it. My uncle is a Nuclear Physisist. He very much agrees with the idea of science and Scripture and creation meshing together. He is also very much a believer. However, I think in trying to hard to rely on man's wisdom and knowledge and understanding, we are in danger of losing some of the authority of Scripture. I know I need to search this out more, but let me leave you with this.

As a child, one of the first stories I ever remember hearing in Sunday School was the creation story. I remember it being so fascinating to me that God could do all this in just 6 days! Like I said earlier, that's how I came to understand God's infinite power and authority. And this wasn't just a childhood fantasy, it was just as real then as it is to me today. The creation story is something, in my mind, that no one can explain. It just takes great faith to believe it in the literal sense.

Anyways, that's my two sense.

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Glad to hear things are going well.

It would take pages and pages for me to anser all of your questions. So instead let me recommend two books that are written by Christians who are scientists by their profession.

"The Language of God" by Francis Collins

"Coming to Peace with Science" by Darrel Falk

If you read these and still have questions, I would be glad to try to answer them.

I am not asking that you believe what I believe. I am simply asking that you learn more about the different Christian views on creation.

These books represent one view of creation and science that many Christians have. So its worth your time to understand it.


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