My personal pursuit of truth happened so fast that fateful night that it left an indelible memory. Moments before the car started spinning uncontrollably, I was blissfully staring out the backseat window of my parent’s car as we drove back home to Salem after celebrating my sixth birthday in Portland. That’s when the thought hit my mind like a badly misplayed line drive: put your seatbelt on. Slightly startled but compliant I clicked my seatbelt over my lap just as the chaos began. That seemingly simple command saved my life as we had a blow out at 70 miles an hour; had I not put that seatbelt on that may have been my last birthday celebration. Thus was the beginning of a quest for truth that has lasted now for more than forty years.
Granted, not everyone has such a dramatic introduction to God. Even so, I believe that God does indeed introduce Himself to the masses at least daily. Consider what we read in Psalm 19:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. (Psalm 19:1-3, NKJV)
A note from my Study Bible says, “[A]ll of creation including the heavens reveals God’s glory and majesty.” Further, this section uses the figure of speech personification (“the ascribing of human characteristics or actions to inanimate objects”), which makes this passage even more compelling since their “voice” appears to be heard on a global basis, so no one is without excuse in at least knowing there is a God (see Romans 1:20).
But how is a 21st century man to explain their voice when in fact they, the stars, do not actually have a literal voice? Let me briefly paint you a picture. Years ago, a friend and I were backpacking in the Minam Drainage area of the Wallowa Mountains. One night we pitched our tents on a rugged, granite ridge at an altitude of about 7,500 feet. That night there was no moon and no clouds, that meant the stars shone in an unrivaled brilliance, dazzling both mind and imagination. What’s more, nearby there was a clear snowmelt lake reflecting the brilliance back up to the sky; in essence, we had a double star-show that quickly compelled contemplation about creation. I suggest that even the most ardent Atheist would be momentarily breathless at the wonder of the site, for this star-show was not just double-brilliance; it was being displayed in the natural theater of majestic mountainous beauty. If you have not had the chance for such a natural setting to enjoy “His handiwork,” then you can at least stand in your backyard on a clear, moonless night and still see a star-show even through the competition of suburban luminescence.
So while the heavens are not talking to us in a literal sense, they are certainly communicating to us in a visual sense to such a degree that they elicit wonder deep in our soul. Just star-shows alone give credence to God’s creation declaration in Genesis 1:1 that He “created the heavens and the earth.”
However, such deserved credence is not always attributed to God. “The way the universe started out at the Big Bang would be determined by the state of the universe in imaginary time,” said cosmologist Stephen J. Hawking. Incredulously I ask, “What!?” Colson and Pearcey said of “imaginary time” that it was “to leave the domain of science for sheer magic.” I would place the phrase even outside science fiction and into the realm of fantasy. Or consider the metaphysical proclamation uttered in the PBS series “Evolution” that the universe is a product of “purposeless, meaningless matter in motion.” Even further, the National Geographic euphemistically stated the beginning of the universe as being “created by dark matter.”
So here we have credible scientific sources claiming the origination of the universe more in the fantastic than in the scientific. Even renown Atheist Richard Dawkins states, in chapter one of The God Delusion, that our “planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” At least one of the physics books I used in my undergraduate education was more honest when it stated, “no one knows how the universe began.”
Considering the scientific community seems to continually avert the glaring question before us, we must return to a theological explanation of creation, that is, “in the beginning God created the heavens and earth.” And even though Atheist columnist Katrina Voss states religion demands exquisite stupidity; I suggest just the opposite, when one cannot explain or even plausibly address origin, both of man and of the universe, but instead continually denies God’s existence to mask the inability to grasp something so vast, is itself stupidity, if not delusional. More rational thinkers would simply say they do not know the origin of man or of the universe rather than attempt such elaborate denials of truth.
Consider the following model of what I call “The Five Creative Stages of ‘In the Beginning:’
Who (or what) was the “igniter” of the explosive start to the universe? Scientists state the igniter as imaginary time or dark matter. Needless to say imaginary time, as referenced before, is sheer fantasy; and dark matter is merely a euphemism for being clueless about origin while being fearful of admitting it. This then leaves us with only one other option: God. “You [God] are from everlasting,” states Psalm 93:2b.
What fuel did the igniter use to light the fuse that caused the explosion? “Can you [Job] bring Mazzaroth [literally constellations] in its season? . . . Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?” These are rhetorical questions posed to Job in Job 38:32 and 33. The thrust is, of course, that Job cannot do these things but only the Creator, God, can.
For subscribers of the Big Bang theory, where did the dot that eventually exploded come from? Something cannot just pop out of nothing. Unless, of course, you’re a follower of the imaginary time concept, then I guess you would even think Mickey Mouse is real.
What or Who, lit the dot? This is referring to the fuse mentioned in Stage 2 above; Stage 2 was the fuel while Stage 4 is the fuse the fuel is lighting.
And finally, the explosion itself.
Of these five stages, the first four are what I call the pre-creation stages. No scientific theory plausibly addresses any pre-creation stage in any way other than via fantasy or euphemism; thus, science falls quite short in defining origin. That said, when we logically and honestly consider In the beginning God vs. Imaginary Time or Dark Matter, our evidentiary record points toward Intelligent Design, or, stated in a more direct manner, the evidence points toward God the Creator of the heavens and earth.
So the next time you have a clear, moonless night, go outside and let your eyes adjust to the darkness, and then gaze up wonderingly at the majestic display of His handiwork. I suspect in so doing, you will hardly have to try to ponder where this all came from. But lest you’re not sure, go back inside and re-read Psalm 19 and then marvel that God chooses to share His splendor with us.
Craig is a husband and father, author of the book From Cult to Christ, is a first year Seminary student, and serves on the Elder Board at New Harvest Church in Salem, Oregon.