THE COSMOS: WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT MATTERS TO CHRISTIANS

Tonight:  On the Hagmann & Hagmann Show:  The revealing of
REVISING REALITY:  A Biblical Look into the Cosmos, Vol. 1

 

The Cosmos: What It is and Why It Matters to Christians

DARE I SAY WE HAVE JUST WRITTEN A BOOK ON COSMOLOGY?

Thanks to the efforts of three co-authors and good friends, I am pleased to announce that a new book is now available on Amazon.com.  Anthony Patch, Josh Peck, and Gonzo Shimura along with myself, Doug Woodward (S. Douglas Woodward when I’m talking about my writing) have been working on this endeavor for 10 months while the research going into the study entails countless years.  The title of the book is:  Revising Reality:  A Biblical Look into the Cosmos, Vol. 1.  We are also very fortunate to be joined by Stan Deyo who wrote a foreword for the book.  His foreword alone is worth the price of the book. (Retail is $21.95). It’s amazing.  Click here to buy the book or to just learn a bit more about it.  Anthony Patch, who friend Kev Baker on the internet jokingly calls a CERNologist will join me to talk about the themes of the book with talk show hosts par excellence, Doug and Joe Hagmann tonight, September 14, 2016, at 7:00 PM EST.  You can find the show on their website:  HagmannandHagmann.com.

So the book is a study of cosmology from a biblical perspective.  I’m a bit nervous about that fact.  Why?  Because if you say Cosmos or Cosmology to most people, especially those too young to know about Carl Sagan and his epic public television mini-series, COSMOS (1980), I receive blank stares when I tell them what the new book is about.  They sheepishly ask, “What is cosmology?”  And only the bravely inquisitive will go so far as to ask, “What is a cosmologist?”

So what do these strange words mean?  Let’s rely upon the Oxford Dictionary to help us out here:


Cosmos, noun

definition:  the universe seen as a well-ordered whole: origin: Middle English: from Greek kosmos ‘order or world.’

Cosmology, noun

definition:  the science of the origin and development of the universe. Modern astronomy is dominated by the Big Bang theory, which brings together observational astronomy and particle physics. origin:  mid 17th cent.: from French cosmologie or modern Latin cosmologia, from Greek kosmos ‘order, world’ + -logia ‘discourse.’

Cosmetology, noun: cosmetology

definition:  the professional skill or practice of beautifying the face, hair, and skin.


The point of throwing the last word and definition in the mix might be obvious to the reader.  The Millennials and Generation Z-ers will recognize what cosmetics is. They generally recall what a cosmetician does. But cosmology?  Why would anyone in the whole-wide-world explain their position in life as a cosmologist?  The conversation goes something like this:

Me: Three friends and I just wrote a book about Cosmology.

Gen-z person:  That’s really, uh, interesting.

Me:  Well, let’s see.  Do you know what a Cosmologist is?

Gen-z person:  Yeah, that’s an advanced esthetician.  It is like getting a graduate degree from a beauty school.

Me:  No, a cosmologist would be like the famous Carl Sagan.

carl-saganGen-z person:  Oh yeah, the comedian.  So is there such a thing as a comediologist?

Me:  No, not that I know of.  Carl Sagan was a guy that explained the universe, well, from a secular, atheist perspective.  He introduced millions to the idea of the Big Bang Theory, Einstein, etc.  Maybe you are familiar with Neil deGrasse Tyson?  He is a protégé of Sagan.

Genz person:  Oh, yeah. I remember him.  He’s the guy that taught us that Pluto isn’t really a planet.  It’s something smaller.  He dashed my love for that ninth planet, er, mini-planet named after Micky Mouse’s dog.  And isn’t he one of those “Big Bangers” too?  Well, come to think of it, aren’t you a Christian?  So why are writing about atheist things like that?”

Me:  Oh, well, yeah. So let’s talk about something more interesting to you.  Are you into Hokieman?

Gen-z person:  Uh, you mean Pokémon.

Me:  Do I?  I guess the phrase “generation gap” isn’t familiar to you either, is it?

So, I am a bit concerned that maybe the best way to position Revising Reality isn’t as a book on the Cosmos.  But I suspect there is a way to get from Pokémon and its popular exploitation of augmented reality to what most of the world considers reality itself, which is, ahem, the Cosmos.

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BUT THE BIBLE SAYS…

So Cosmology is about reality… the universe.  Whether we are talking about the really large-scale things like galaxies or really small things, like quarks and gluons – we are talking about reality.

Christians have been bombarded with secular, atheistic science all our lives.  The origins of creation we accept as God, but we assume that he exploded the creation into existence because we’ve been taught about the Big Bang.  The notion that He spoke it into existence isn’t so much something we think about.  That’s even though the gospel of John starts off with the same three words as Genesis, “In the beginning”.  That’s because when it all started, when the creation was created, it was about the WORD of God. The LOGOS.  He was with God and He was God.  All things that have ever come into being, came into being because of Him.  (John 1:1-3, paraphrased).

And the first chapter of the Bible hasn’t even finished before God, through Moses the transcriber, starts talking about us.  It says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27, NIV) To emphasize the significance of human beings, God has Moses write it down three times in a single verse.

It would seem that the Cosmos from a Christian perspective is about God, God creating the universe, God creating humankind, and the LOGOS who actually did the creating and was with God the Father when it all began.  Yes, in a nutshell, that is the premise of Christian Cosmology. Cosmology is pretty important stuff.

That really is what Psalm 8 tells us too.  Read these words and think about them from a “cosmological” perspective:

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: (Psalm 8:3-6, KJV)

You see, the Bible is very much about Cosmology.  As the definition of it from the Oxford Dictionary tells us, it’s “the universe seen as a well-ordered whole” which contrasts big-time from its opposite, chaos.  What would chaos be in this context?  Probably a real Big Bang and what happens afterwards.  I can’t imagine anything more chaotic than all the particles of the universe exploding in a micro-second from a near infinitely, densely packed little ball of everything “that was or will ever be” (Sagan’s definition of the Cosmos), streaking at near the speed of light across the vastness of outer space supposedly 14.5 billion years ago.  Consequently, to think rightly about our belief in God and His belief in us, understanding Cosmology is really where it’s at.  To set things right, what we need to do is revise reality, from a biblical perspective.  Hence, the title.

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The point of all this is that the universe is well-ordered… it was designed and shaped for humanity to live in it.  Despite the fact that Sagan and his colleagues have filled us with awe and wonder at the astounding pictures and ideas they put forth about the Cosmos, they belittle humankind and ignore God.  We are just a carbon-based lifeform, tiny in stature or a quaint blue planet orbiting a very average star, on the edge of a medium-sized galaxy, floating somewhere amidst billions of other galaxies.  And, as we listen to the theoretical physicists today (that’s the more up-to-date, sophisticated and official designation of cosmologists now) like Michio Kaku at the City College of New York, we have been led to believe that our universe may only be one of billions of possible universes that run parallel to one another.  Do you feel small enough yet?

The Bible expresses the opposite point of view.  Human beings are at the center of God’s creation and God Himself came to redeem us once we disobeyed Him, became tainted with sin, and were destined for judgment at the end of this era.  You see, when looking at things from God’s point of view, almost all of the Bible is about Cosmology.  And our redemption is the centerpiece of the whole story.  So says the Apostle Paul:

 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:18-23, ESV)

There is a lot more to say and we will start saying it tonight.  I hope you can join us live.  But if not, the Hagmanns do a great job of archiving, so you can catch the program later.  I promise that we will make you glad you learned about Cosmology and that a Cosmologist isn’t someone who got an advanced graduate degree from beauty school.

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