Don’t Panic! The Convergence of Big Bang Cosmology with Theology
Bringing up the Big Bang in certain Christian circles is a fraught proposition. Depending on the audience, the response might be hearty agreement, hasty disagreement, or panicky joking (“God said it, and BANG, it happened!”). This paper attempts to address all three groups by showing that Big Bang cosmology is not a threat to the Christian faith. Instead, Big Bang cosmology allows for a convergence of theological, philosophical, and scientific truth in discussing the origins of the universe and its ultimate fate. Rather than fearing the steady march of science in uncovering the secrets of the universe, Christians should embrace and engage in dialogue as science will always be inadequate in addressing philosophical and theological questions. Indeed, some of the greatest thinkers in Christian history proposed theological and philosophical solutions to the origin of the universe long before the modern scientific method and current theories came to be accepted as authoritative.
This paper aims not to present a deep dive into the interpretation of the first two chapters of Genesis or to rehash scientific proofs for intelligent design, but rather to illustrate that Christians need not fear the pursuit of scientific truth. This paper will show that with Big Bang cosmology, there is an overlap between truth found in theology and philosophy and truths found in science and that these truths are actually interdependent. Why? Because despite the ability of scientists to peer back through time utilizing sophisticated devices and mathematical formulae, cosmology alone cannot answer ultimate questions about the meaning of life. For that, we turn to theology and philosophy.Moreover, with the interdependent truth claims of theology, philosophy, and science Christians should not panic at new discoveries and instead come to realize that the majesty of scientific truth can always and only point back to the majesty of the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of creation.
Since it is beyond the scope of this paper to delve deeply into hermeneutical questions (e.g., Is יום [yom] a literal 24-hour day?), the establishment of a few presuppositions are in order. First, the universe is created and is contingent upon a Creator for…