Photo Cred: (1) | Updated: 3/7/2019
At this point in this series, you may be asking, “Chris, what about the Big Bang and Evolution? Does the Bible affirm these too? Are these compatible with the Creation Account?” For some they do see compatibility with the Creation Account, while others do not see compatibility with the Creation Account. I happen to be in the former group, but I understand the other side as well.
Although in reference to the theory of evolution, I find it’s only possible from a theistic worldview. Naturalism seems to fall apart against such arguments as Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism, which you can read more of in his book Where The Conflict Really Lies. To add to that, I also believe a Molinist understanding of evolution makes the most sense both biblically and logically.
When it comes to the Big Bang, the focus should be placed on the “how” of Creation, not the “when.” Looking at not only the Creation Account, but basic Cosmology I see a very much aligned view of the “how” of the Creation Account, although I am unsure on exactly “when” this all occurs in history. Science was never my major, so we’ll leave the specifics to the experts. With that said, let’s just observe a few things about the Bible and the Big Bang.
In Genesis chapter 1, what we see is quite comparable to the Big Bang Model proposed by Belgian priest Georges Lemaître who was a physics professor at the Catholic University of Leuven and an astronomer as well. He theorized correctly that everything directly points back to a moment where the Universe began and was started somehow by something with his infamous Friedmann-Lemaître Model that eventually led to the Standard Model of the Big Bang published in the late 1920s.
Of course, this discovery spun the academic community for a loop because the majority always assumed that the Universe was infinite without a beginning. Especially atheists, for they thought that if the Universe had no beginning, then it must have had no creator of the beginning. Talk about a wake up call! So despite what others may say, the Big Bang model that Friedmann and Lemaître created came from the mind of a theist, Lemaître that is (2).
So how does the Big Bang Model fit with the Creation Account? As I have studied not only the Creation Account in-depth and having refreshed myself on the Standard Model of the Big Bang, I find some simple similarities. First off, the Standard Model proposes that the Big Bang happened immediately. There was no pause from the beginning of the Model to where we are within the Model. According to more recent understandings of the Model, nuclear fusion begins and ends within the first ninety seconds of the Big Bang expansion.
Next, the first nuclei form is “the positively charged mass within an atom, composed of neutrons and protons, and possessing most of the mass but occupying only a small fraction of the volume of the atom (3).” In layman terms, this is the core or central part of what will eventually become an atom. Another way of understanding the first nuclei form is like saying that the nuclei is a seed and the atom is the tree.
Regardless, what we must conclude from Scripture and the Standard Model for the Big Bang is that they both began immediately from a non-material source. “And God said” plus phrases like “and there was light” combined with “it was so” verify this claim that a non-material source caused a material result (i.e. the Universe) to exist. What non-material source could do that? A transcendent being like God who is outside of the boundaries of space, time, and matter is the most probable source that could input non-material information into what is now a material Universe (4). Plus, we’ve seen this immediate divine action on God’s part many times like turning water into wine (5), parting the Dead Sea (6), or even healing various diseases simply by saying so (7).
The Standard Model of the Big Bang Theory also proposes that since the beginning of the initial cosmological singularity, the Universe has been steadily expanding in a consistent shift of space. This can be seen in the mysteriously unknown force known as ‘dark energy’ that has been the main agent of this phenomenon and can be followed by the red shift seen in our Universe being stretched across space. Basically, the universe is still expanding even today from that initial singularity.
This expansion of the Universe appears to parallel the cycle of every living thing and I would argue that it is evidence for a single architect of the Universe. This one just happens to be a bigger fingerprint than the others left behind by God. For instance, a human newborn displays this expansion I’m talking about.
During the initial first few years of its lifespan, the human newborn will grow immensely at a rate that the rest of the child’s life will never meet again. The first 9 months for the human newborn have the most growth due to the compound growth of human cells (1 cell to 2 cells to 4 cells, etc.) just like the proposed first 90 seconds of the Big Bang (nuclei to atoms). It’s development from childhood into adolescence will be constant, yet less noticeable (like the Universe) then when it was first conceived (i.e. the rate of expansion within the first 90 seconds of the Big Bang versus the current rate of expansion of the Universe in its current form).
Eventually, the adult human will slowly deteriorate and die, which is the unwinding of their lifespan. Now the Universe is said to have a similar experience from those who know the Big Bang Theory well. It started out growing and expanding rapidly (infancy), the rate of expansion remained consistent for a while before picking up again because of an unknown phenomena dubbed ‘dark energy’ (adolescence), and then will level out once more at a consistent rate (adulthood), before finally expanding past the point of life (death). In a concise way, the expansion of the universe is the echo of creation. I find it to be an interesting parallel that can be seen in plant, animal, and other life cycles.
Is there another Model I may be open too? Yep, as a matter of fact there are two that immediately come to mind. One proposed by John Lennox and one proposed by John Sailhamer (Genesis Unbound). We will briefly look at both before moving on as I find them to be saying very similar things concerning the Big Bang Theory and the Creation Account.
Lennox suggests that based off of the initial Creation Account’s Day 1 starting in verse 3 and an indeterminate time-frame for versus 1-2 we can conclude that “it would be logically possible to believe that the days of Genesis are twenty-four-hour days (of one earth week) and to believe that the universe is very ancient” (8). The other view from Sailhamer, conjectures that Genesis 1:1 is the period of time that the Universe was created, whereas Genesis 1:2-2:4 refers to an earth-week where divine preparations were made to establish humanity as the primary creatures that inhabited Earth. Both have their merits, but when it comes to this subject I usually just avoid going too deep as it is an area where I lack understanding.
There you go! There is a succinct summary of my beliefs on the Big Bang Theory and all topics discussed above. The last blog-post of this series will focus on death and its effect on the Creation Account. With that, Godspeed and Jesus bless!
- Alexander Friedmann was noted for being very irreligious, although his marriage ceremony was very religious. Possibly due to family tradition and familial ties. He contributed to the Friedmann-Lemaître Standard Model of the Big Bang Theory with a series of mathematical equations that led to similar findings as Lemaître did in his own respective field.
- Seven Days That Divide The World (P. 101).
- John 2:1-11
- Exodus 14:13-31
- Matthew 4:23
- Seven Days That Divide The World (P. 53)