“7 Truths: A Fine Tuned Cosmos”
One day a group of scientists went to meet with God. There were biologists, chemists, physicists, all the fields together, and they walk up to God and say, “God, we don’t need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing – in other words, we can now do what you did in the beginning.”
“Oh, is that so?” says God. “Tell me more!”
The scientists are pretty excited and they start to tell Him how they can now create life out of dirt and how God is no longer needed.
God listens patiently and then He says, “That’s very interesting. Please, show me.”
So the scientists begin to huddle together and begin scooping up the dirt so they can show God how good they are at creating life and doing what He does.
Suddenly God interrupts, “No no, no… Just a moment now! Get your own dirt.”
So far we have looked at the resurrection and how God himself walked the earth as the fully divine, fully human, Jesus Christ. This week we are going to look at the idea of creation. About how faith and science seem to be at odds with each other in how and when the universe was created.
It’s also fun because I get to use a big latin term… ex nihilo. What it means is “out of nothing.” That is, we christians say the universe was created ex nihilo or out of nothing. There was nothing before, no matter, no light, no energy… nothing. Just the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We read from Genesis this morning that God created all things. Before it began, there was just an empty, formless void. From there, God began His creation. Building, creating, breathing life into things. And it read it was “good.”
To say the universe was created “out of nothing” means a few things:
1.It means creation has a starting point. It originated. It came into being.
2.It means creation had a beginning. There was a moment in time when it all began.
3.It means God initiated it and organized it.
4.At the point of creation, the whole cosmos became its own entity, existing in space and time.
5.So while the universe is independent reality from God, it still depends on God as part of its existence.
6.Nothing other than God has an eternal, independent existence. That is, nothing exists outside and beyond the universe besides God. No matter, energy, nothing.
Science has stood up and said many different things over the years, and I’m not really going to stand up here and debate too many of them, simply because I know I’m not going to change anyone’s mind.
There are people who say that the organized universe we observe today came from a disorganized mess of matter and energy which slowly evolved into what it is today, including the creation of planets, stars, moons and life. That is all came from something and it all started with the big bang.
The concept of the big bang intrigues me, because what is being said is that at some point in time, the universe began from an explosion in which matter and energy expanded from some point billions of years ago. I like this, because it gives us a starting point. Science is showing us something we can learn from. Because as we read from Genesis, God created it in an instant. God spoke, and bang, it existed.
Now we read in the bible that it happened in one day, then the next five days were creating various things like water and sky and land and life. But we are learning from science that it took longer than that. Which is also supported in scripture because the word “day” that we read in the bible can also be translated to mean “a period of time.”
So, a day or millions of years, it could be either. How long it took is not really the point. It’s the creator of the universe that matters.
In the book I’ve been using as a resource for this sermon series, Kenneth Samples goes into some academic and detailed explanations for the order of the universe and how science and faith differ. I’m not going to go there. We don’t need to go there.
We are beings created by God who seek answers to the big questions we have in life. We explore the universe and all that is in it. We ask the question “what makes us tick?”
So we have scientists who study the greatness of the universe. We have scientists who study the smallest molecules. We have scientists who are trying to duplicate what God has done. We have scientists who have studied in nature to find medicines that will help our bodies. We have scientists who have studied our bodies to help us when we are sick.
Science, in it’s exploration of all the universe, great things and small things, we are learning more about what God has created.
This morning we celebrated with a family in baptism. The miracle of birth for a young family.
In birth, science can explain how the egg was fertilized, how it grew, what stages the child went through, but it doesn’t fully explain that life grew inside the mother. It doesn’t explain the wonder of this gift. At least for me it’s doesn’t.
And think about the immense variety of life that exists on the earth. Billions of different life forms from tiny organisms to great big whales. What a diversity of life!
Billions of humans. Each one of us our own unique individual. No two of us are alike. We all think differently, have our own preferences and patterns.
It’s amazing! And it all fits together in such a way that we depend on each other, and other life on earth, to create a balance which sustains life. A plant is born, it grows, it dies, it decays so that new life can grow.
And people try and tell us this all happened by accident? That there wasn’t some sort of intelligent design involved in all of this?
Science tells us great and wonderful things about how things work. But science will never fully understand it, it’s very complex. The deeper we get into something, like what makes up matter, the more mysteries it reveals. 100 years ago we thought we knew the smallest thing, but no, we found something smaller. More questions. Then we found something smaller. And then smaller again. More questions. More mystery.
It’s all so very incredible. The more we learn, the more questions we have. You’d think at some point we would understand it all. After all these are our best and brightest minds who are working on these questions. They keep getting in deeper. Keep finding new things. But no real answers about how all of these basic elements come together in the ways they do to create such an incredible display of diversity and beauty.
So then, how do we explain this incredible universe and the makeup of everything within it?
I’m supportive of science and the research it undertakes, simply because it keeps unraveling more and more mystery around the beauty God has created.
From the vastness of the universe to the beauty of a baby held in her mother’s arms.
God created it all. God continues to create and work in and through each and every one of us.
It’s amazing. Truly amazing.
And we get to be part of it all, helping others also enjoy the gifts He has given.