Big bang thinking is permeating Christianity, undermining the Gospel and leading
countless souls astray. Many prominent church figures are urging people to abandon
the fundamental doctrines of creation and the authority of the Bible. Leading Church
of England scientist/priests, Rev. Dr Arthur Peacocke and Rev. Dr Sir John Polkinghorne
KBE, FRS, are both urging the church to replace Genesis creation with big bang theory
and cosmic evolution.
According to Peacocke, the Creator is the author of processes whereby things make
themselves. This very likely includes life elsewhere in the universe.1 Jesus Christ ‘represents the consummation of the
evolutionary creative process that God has been effecting in and through the world
… What was revealed in Jesus the Christ could also, in principle, be manifest
both in other human beings and indeed also on other planets, in any sentient, self–conscious,
non–human persons …’ (p. 114).2
Entirely gone is the concept of man the sinner and Christ the Saviour. Jesus is
thus just a highly evolved human being, rather than God incarnate, and we can evolve
as He did and become like Him.
Polkinghorne takes an approach much like this, too, and reaches similar conclusions.
In a public lecture entitled ‘Is there a destiny beyond death?’ he proposed
a view of eternal life in which there is no cross. Instead of the cross, he inserted
purgatory as a means of making us fit to enter into the presence of God.3 I imagine that if you wanted to insult Jesus then you
could hardly do better than to say that his death on the cross did not
restore us to full fellowship with God and thus we will need to go through a process
of purgation (cleansing) in order to achieve that end for ourselves. Yet this is
the logical consequence of Polkinghorne’s big bang beginning followed by cosmic
evolution. The big bang’s millions of years, with Earth cooling slowly and
geological processes forming fossils, mean that death must be a natural part of
life and have been around before sin. Thus death is not the penalty for sin. So
Christ’s death on our behalf means nothing.
Tragically, all this heresy is based on a mirage. In a powerful new book, Dismantling
the Big Bang: God’s Universe Rediscovered,4
(DBB) Australian authors Alex Williams
and Dr John Hartnett show us (in
easy–to–read layman’s language) that the standard big bang models
(there are several varieties) are simply not credible. They do not enable us to
explain the origin of galaxies, stars, or planets—which is astonishing, given
that the very purpose of the big bang is to explain the origin of the material universe.
(Without stars and galaxies, there’s not much left of that universe, to put
it mildly). In short, Peacocke and Polkinghorne are urging Christians to relinquish
the genuine history of the universe and exchange it for a counterfeit.
On the other hand, the Bible does have a credible and consistent cause for all that
we see around us. ‘In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and
the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through
him … The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only–begotten Son of the Father’ (John 1:1–3, 14). These familiar words from John’s Gospel constitute
the most powerful explanation for the origin, nature and destiny of the universe
that the world has ever heard.
Cosmology belongs to the Christian
Cosmology is the study of the universe (cosmos). We humans are stuck in both space
and time in a very small part of a very vast universe. We cannot traverse the universe
to study its size or shape, nor can we go backwards or forwards in time to see how
it changes. All we can do is contemplate it through our telescopes—and make
up and compare (and try to test) stories that try to explain where it came from
and how it got to be the way it is.
The standard big bang models are the most popular stories going around now, but
most people don’t realize that they are just one class of many possible different
kinds of narratives.
As DBB shows, some stories about the universe are better than others because they
explain more. In ancient times, some thought that spirit beings moved the planets
around the solar system—until the 17th century when Sir Isaac Newton
discovered the laws of motion and the force of gravity.
In the 20th century, when Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe was
expanding, these same laws of gravity and motion led to the idea that in the past
the galaxies must have all been together in one place, in which case gravity would
have sucked everything into a state of infinitely dense and hot energy. To get out
of that state, something incomprehensible must have happened. An eruption of unimaginable
magnitude must have occurred—hence the name ‘big bang’.
But this ‘story’ is riddled with insoluble conundrums. For example,
there is no known force in physics that could have caused the expansion of the universe
out of such an initial state. Then many other things which likewise have no known
cause (such as ‘inflation’) must follow later in the process. One event
does not lead naturally to the next, so a multitude of incomprehensible causes have
to be cobbled together to get the expansion going and to make it produce a universe.
The DBB book shows that in this and other aspects, big bang theory is internally
In dramatic contrast, biblical cosmology is internally consistent. Its
proposed cause—God—can create a universe. We know this because
God the Son, Jesus Christ, came to Earth and did miracles of creation such as turning
water into wine, and multiplying loaves and fishes.5
(Even a dead fish is far more complex than an entire galaxy.)
Not only does the Bible provide us with a credible cause (God) but this same cause
also provides a consistent explanation for the nature and development of
the world we live in. For the Word of God not only created the universe, but also
upholds the universe and guides the universe to its destiny in that same Word, the
person of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16–17). Cosmologists have discovered
that the laws of physics and chemistry and the structure of the galaxy and the solar
system are very finely tuned to support life on Earth. This is consistent with the
idea of intelligent design. But the Bible in Genesis also explains the ‘fallen’
state of the world with its suffering and death—a result of God’s curse
upon man’s sin. So a straight forward reading of the Bible explains the origin,
nature and destiny of the universe in a scientifically credible and consistent manner.
The authors also show that the Bible’s timescale is more credible than the
billions of years of standard cosmology.
The great news from this excellent new book is that the Bible is not only a source
of salvation to satisfy our souls, it is a goldmine of intellectual understanding
to satisfy our minds. Jesus Christ is not just an immense figure in history, he
is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13), and that is the greatest cosmological
statement humanity is ever likely to hear.
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