God and the Big Bang – May 5

(click on caret to listen to the sermon)

Series: Faith or and Science
Today: God and the Big Bang
Genesis 1:1-19

Rev. Laura Brewster

I. Introduction:
Today we continue with our series of messages designed to help us maintain our faith and remain open to the scientific discoveries made through the use of the intellect with which God has gifted humanity.

II. The Creation of the Universe According to Science
According to the Big Bang Theory, the universe burst into existence about 13.8 billion years ago. It first appeared as an extremely small, dense speck of heat and energy. This subatomic ball of everything is known as the singularity, and it began a rapid expansion immediately after it appeared. Within 180 million years, stars began to form. Later planets began to form in the dust around stars and galaxies developed. There are now more than 2 trillion other galaxies in the observable universe. These galaxies continue to move away from the site of the Big Bang and continue to expand the universe.

III. The Creation Story According to Scripture
Science can tell us what unfolded following the Big Bang. However, it cannot tell us what caused the Big Bang. We can turn to scripture for that answer. The word “Genesis” means beginning, and the book of Genesis tells us this about the beginning of all things. READ: Genesis 1:1-19. This passage from Genesis is a beautiful and poetic passage about the beginning of creation. It is also the answer to our question regarding what or who gave birth to the Big Bang. It was God.

IV. How Can We Reconcile Science and the Biblical Stories of Creation?
Genesis tells us that God is the force behind all creation. It also presents a picture regarding how God went about the work of creating. Obviously, the information in Genesis about how creation unfolded does not match up with what we have learned about creation from science. We reconcile the two when we realize that scripture and science are designed to provide us with different, but complementary information. God inspired the creation stories in Genesis to teach us that he is the power behind creation, not provide us with a science lesson on the specific way he worked. Science, on the other hand, helps us understand exactly how God uses his power to start and shepherd the process of creation.

V. Specific Lessons from Genesis
So, what are the lessons God inspired the writer of the creation stories to teach us?
A. God is the creator of all things, seen and unseen.
B. “The design of the world is not accidental. It is based upon the will of God.” (Walter Brueggemann)
C. Finally, our creator loves and delights in his creation.
These lessons remain whether or not we read Genesis literally.

VI. It Is Not Radical to Refrain From Reading Genesis in a Literal Manner.
Prominent Christian thinkers from throughout the centuries have discerned that the creation stories in Genesis need not be read literally. For example, in the 3rd century, Origen wrote, “I do not think anyone will doubt that these are figurative expressions which indicate certain mysteries through a semblance of history.i

VII. When Theology & Science Are Viewed Together:
When we accept the truths provided by science, we can gain a greater appreciation for God amazing power and can be moved to worship. When we accept the truths provided by scripture, we can better understand how much we are loved by our powerful God. Together, these truths can move us to respond to God with love and worship. “The bottom line is that the best science and our best thinking about God can go together.”