Topic 1.1
Big Bang
– PURPOSE –
Helping Christians engage in intelligent and persuasive conversations with doubters and unbelievers
MACRO TOPIC 1.1

Big Bang

Universe begins with divine spark
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Big bang in bible
Questions
Answered here from the Bible

🟥  Does the Bible really say that the earth is less than 10,000 years old?

🟥  Is there an inherent conflict between science and the Bible?

🟥  Can a Christian believe the Big Bang?

🟥  Does belief in an old earth conflict with the New Testament gospel?

🟥  Why does the beginning even matter?

Big bang in bible
Discovery
See what the Bible actually says
This Discovery section searches the Bible for answers to the questions above and provides information for intelligent and persuasive conversations with doubters and unbelievers

Why this is important

With regard to age of the earth, most Christians just shrug off the issue by saying, It doesn't matter to me whether the earth is young or old. It's not important.

But this response misses the real issue: It's not about me. It's about them!

Bible credibility is the issue. If the Bible is wrong about age of the earth, doubters and unbelievers can reasonably conclude that it is probably wrong about other matters, too, and that the Bible cannot be trusted as a book of truth.

Similarly, personal testimony is greatly diminished if others think Christians are uneducated, naive or brain-washed.

It is important to get it right about age of the earth in order to establish respect and influence.

Maybe the subject will never come up in open conversation, but every Christian should be ready if it does. Even if doubters don't raise the issue, they think about it! In some situations, a Christian should raise the issue just to flush out hidden misunderstandings and establish better rapport.

This section gives reasons for concluding that God formed the earth over long periods of time ... and that science and the Bible are not in conflict

FIRST WORDS IN BIBLE

'In the beginning ... '

'IN THE BEGINNING God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the face of the deep, and the spirt of God was hovering over the waters.' – Genesis 1:1-2
RESTATED IN TODAY'S LANGUAGE: God created the universe instantly with a release of divine energy beyond human comprehension, the Big Bang. Everything was vaporized with heat so intense that even light could not penetrate it. Vapors eventually cooled to form the earth's crust and a deep watery surface. God was getting ready to do something special here!

This is all the information that the Bible provides about creation of the universe. To say more would have created credibility issues for people in earlier times who didn't have the historical and scientific understanding we have today.


These first two verses of the Bible are just an introductory summary of God's creation. See 1.2, the next section, for the verses of Genesis 1 which show how God brought life to earth in six stages called 'days,' essentially the same sequence as modern science now explains it – written in the Bible more than 3,000 years ago!

SCIENCE NOW AGREES WITH BIBLE

Bible said it first 3000 years ago

Old science was 'Steady State'

Until recently – about 60 years ago – scientists held to the Steady State theory that the universe had no beginning or end in time, that the earth has always existed in one form or another. Scientists scoffed at the Bible for saying that the earth had a beginning.

The first use of the term 'big bang' was by astronomer Fred Hoyle on a BBC broadcast in 1949 when he said that a new theory was being proposed by some young astronomers 'based on the hypothesis that all matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.'

He argued against the theory and said it was 'irrational and outside science.'

However, as a result of better telescopes, instrumentation and computers, by the 1980s the 'Big Bang' had become the dominant theory (explanation) used by astronomers and astrophysicists.

New science (since 1980's) is 'Big Bang'

Today, the Big Bang is generally regarded as settled science. Scientists now say that the universe started with a 'singularity' (Christians say 'God'), then exploded, expanding and cooling over the next 13.8 billion years into the cosmos we know today – and it's still expanding!

NASA has calculated that in the first second after the universe began, the surrounding temperature was more than10 billion degrees Fahrenheit.

Bible has been saying it for 3,000 years

The Bible (quotation above) says that:

'In the beginning' the earth was 'formless and empty:'  Heat was so intense that everything was vaporized, just gasses, no form, empy.
There was 'darkness over the face of the deep:' Light cannot penetrate intense heat, so it was dark. As gasses gradually cooled, the earth began to take shape, a deep (thick) core, a visible face.
The 'spirit of God was hovering over the waters:' Steam vapor condensed so that most of earth's surface was water. God was giving special attention to planet earth because he planned to do something special here, TO CREATE LIFE!

The Big Bang is what science has been saying for 60 years ... and what the Bible has been saying for 3,000 years!

SCIENCE IS NOT AN ENEMY

both Bible and science seek truth

Science and theology both seek truth

There can be no difference between true science and true Christianity because both seek truth – and there is only one truth! Science inquires into the physical and Christianity inquires into the spiritual. They make different inquiries in different ways, but both are part of the same quest for truth.

Conflicts between science and the Bible have resulted from lack of knowledge at particular times in history but are eventually resolved. For example:

Christians fought the theory advanced by Pythagoras that the earth is round, not flat. They argued from Bible verses that refer to 'the four corners of the earth.' The earth can't be round, they said, beause the Bible says it has corners. They quibbled over 'corners' the way we quibble over 'days.'

Christians fought the theory advanced by Copernicius that the earth revolves around he sun. They believed that God made the earth the center of everything and argued from Psalm 104:5 ('He established the earth upon its foundations ...') and Psalm 93.2 ('... the earth is firmly established, it will not be moved'). They quibbled over 'established' and 'foundations' the way we quibble over 'days.'

Eventually Christians accepted the facts of science and realized that scientific issues have little to do with spiritual issues. Conflicts in wording and understanding are usually resolved, but in the meantime many people lose confidence in the Bible as a book of truth.

Today, good study of both the Bible and modern science will reconcile God's word with God's world.

Science makes the case for God

Science and the Bible are not enemies.

In fact, science is making the case for belief in a single almighty designer-creator God – ONE GOD, not many Gods.

In ancient times, people believed in a pantheon of gods.

People believed that hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts and diseases were the wrath of the angry gods. Gods had to be placated with offerings and rituals. Many early Christians were persecuted, and even put to death, because they did not honor the local gods and thus were blamed for bringing punishments upon the community.

Science has been a great help to Christianity by revealing a single master design plan, leaving no doubt that the world is NOT run by a pantheon of gods and that natural disasters and illnesses are NOT caused by wrath of the gods but by natural laws emanating from an intelligent and predictable master plan for the universe.

For most people in the United States today, the choice is not which spiritual deity to worship, but whether or not to acknowledge and obey the ONE designer-creator God.

See 1.7.1 for the important Christian concept of one God only.

Science is discovery of God's physical design plan
Theology is discovery of God's spiritual design plan

GOD'S METHOD AND TIMING

above nature and very old

Universe began externally, not within nature

There are no natural explanations for either the existence or the purpose of the universe.

If the Big Bang is the beginning of nature, then some intelligence and power outside of nature and greater than nature had to trigger the Big Bang, to start everything out of nothing, and to establish the predetermined laws of nuclear energy, physics and chemistry that enabled it to develop with orderly precision.

Christians believe that divine intelligence and power is the only reasonable explanation for an instant universe of such magnitude, majesty and precision. Scientists call this source the 'singularity;' Christians know it as 'God.'

The Big Bang does not push God out of creation. It just explains God's method and timing. Like everything else scientific, God let's us learn more and more over time about his creation and how it works.

The Bible does not specifically tell in years when the Big Bang occurred, but scientists are now in agreement that it was approximately 13.8 billion years ago.

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Then who made God?
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Earth is very old

The earth (solid) is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Apparently it took about 9.3 billion years – the time between Genesis 1:2 and Genesis 1:6 – for the gasses to cool and form a crust. Then God began shaping the earth and putting life on it.

See 1.2 for summary of the Bible stages of transformation.

The compiler/writer of Genesis could not have had this amazing scientific insight more than three thousand years ago without special revelation from the designer/creator.

 See 1.2.1 for reasons from the Bible itself why 'day' in the creation account means more than a 24-hour period.

The earth is still cooling, a whirling glob of molten minerals, 8,000 miles in diameter, with a thin crust (typically 5-25 miles) that supports life. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the known universe.

And now spiritual life

The Bible and the scientific community are now in essential agreement about the beginning of our physical world.

But there's another part of our world which came later – the non-physical part, even more complex than any physical BODY the human SOUL (mind, will and emotion) and human SPIRIT (connection to God).

Topic 2.5 (coming soon) will investigate from scripture how humans are made in the image of God: A human trinity (body, soul and spirit) that mirrors God's trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

FIVE REASONS

for acknowledging Big Bang

✓ REASON 1. Bible says it
Genesis 1:1-2 (quoted above), the first words of the Bible, describe the Big Bang. We could not deduce the full massive concept from those few words – and the concept would have been incomprehensible to ancient Hebrews – but now with help from modern science we see how everything began in an instant with the Big Bang, the moment when God spoke the universe into existence.
✓ REASON 2. Science now agrees
Until the mid to late 1900s, most scientists believed that the universe had always existed and rejected the idea that it had a beginning. But today virtually all scientists agree that the universe had an instant beginning caused by a 'singularity' (Christians say God). There is massive scientific evidence showing that the beginning was billions of years ago.
✓ REASON 3. Enhances gospel
Many deeply indoctrinated Christians are afraid to change their view on age of the universe for fear that it will somehow undermine Christian faith. Actually, it is the other way around. Christian faith is undermined by belief statements that are contrary to known facts. Accepting the Big Bang does not in any way alter Christology (birth, teaching, atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ). Instead, the gospel message is enhanced because it is not tarnished with concerns that the Bible is sometimes wrong.
✓ REASON 4. Removes barrier to faith
Jesus gave Christians the commission to 'make disciples.' Christians often thwart the mission by erecting unnecessary barriers to faith. When doubters and unbelievers are told that the Bible says the universe is less than 10,000 years old – and they know that this is patently wrong – they assume that the Bible is wrong about other things, too.
✓ REASON 5. Honors God
A universe that unfolds majestically with precision over billions of years is even more marvelous than a universe put together relatively recently in a week. It diminishes God's creation when people say it is less amazing than it really is.

RANDOM STREET INTERVIEWS

what people are thinking

Thinking is different today

Most Christians seem to think that nearly everyone has a concept of God somewhat similar to their own, and that other people are deliberately rejecting God's offer of salvation through Jesus.

Actually, many people – and probably most young people today – have either no concept of God or only a vague and distorted concept, and few regard God as their maker and sovereign. And most have never heard a clear explanation of God's offer of salvation.

In probing conversations with doubters and unbelievers, the common concept of God is a remote power, force or energy in the universe, a driving spirit of life rather than a knowable supreme being with whom we can have a personal relationship.
Interviewers went out on the street and asked random people what they think about God
Their answers are very informative for Christians who want to engage doubters and unbelievers in spiritual conversation.
Watch video snippets below

When a Christian tries to engage in deep spiritual conversation with someone who has no Christian background, it is usually like two ships passing the night unless the Christian understands prevailing secular viewpoints.

Concepts and terms that are well-understood in church circles are like a foreign language without meaning to secular people.

The best way to learn how people perceive and think is to ask and listen.

As part of the first four topics here on Origin (How did we get here?), this site has videos to help Christians get into the minds of young doubters and unbelievers, the new majority in our country. These are the key people for whom we have responsibility for explaining the Bible (same Bible) and the gospel (same gospel) but in understandable language for the modern world.

Listen to what people say when asked what they think about God. Tap below for Video 1 Street Interviews:

Tap for video clips

Now a Millennial and Gen Z world

The median age in the United States in 2020 is 38. That means that the majority of people are now Millennials and Gen Zs. They are no longer two fringe groups. They are now the influence and opinion leaders of our country.

Their views on spiritual matters are vastly different from preceding generations. Their thinking is re-defining American culture.

Big bang in bible
Summary
Big Bang

🟩  There are strong reasons for believing that the universe is billions of years old and that the Big Bang was God's method and timing of creation.

🟩  Genesis 1:1-2 is an amazing description of the Big Bang, written 3,000 years ago, but only now understood by our generation in light of modern science.

🟩  Within the past 60 years, the scientific community has completely changed its view regarding the beginning of the universe and now agrees with the Bible regarding the moment God spoke the universe into existence. (In this context, we say 'God,' science says 'the singularity.')

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