Oklahoma church uses marquee to counter ‘Big Bang Theory’
Newson6.com in Tulsa, Okla., reports:
TULSA, Oklahoma — A Tulsa church is fighting fire with fire, at least as far as a nearby billboard is concerned.
The 29th and Yale Church of Christ is using its marquee to respond to the billboard which is promoting the television show Big Bang Theory on the Tulsa CW.
The message on the marquee reads “Big Bang, Just Theory Genesis 1.1 Says God Created.”
Read the full report.
FeedbackI understand the intent of the minister of 29th and Yale CofC, and I always want to thank the church’s ministers for their services. But no one is above critique, and so I want to offer my critique here (in love).
There is a tragic misunderstanding of the science of Big Bang cosmology here if the minister feels that it is a detriment to our faith. In fact, the big bang cosmology of the twentieth century has provided us as Christians with one of the more outstanding talking points (or apologetics) for the existence of God. Prior to the discoveries of big bang cosmology, it was thought that the universe was eternally existent and had existed in a steady state forever. But Georges Lema�tre (and later Albert Einstein) demonstrated that the universe had a ‘beginning event’ and an ‘expanding event’ which philosophically begs the question, “what caused the beginning of the universe.” In effect, what Christians are left with as a result of big bang cosmology is the ability to ask the question ‘why did the universe have a beginning’ or better yet ‘what (or who) caused the beginning of the universe.’ The philosophical argument is called the cosmological or Kalaam cosmological argument. It takes no large stretch of the imagination to realize how powerfully theistic these questions and answers can be. Far from disagreeing with Genesis cosmology, big bang cosmology actually affirms it. Which leaves me wondering, why the need for the snarky sign?
I think, as a best practice, that if a church member or minister is not well versed in the sciences, they should probably stay away the debates happening at the intersection of science and theology. There are many in the church that are qualified to engage in them. This is a humble suggestion, but an important one nonetheless.
Interested readers who would like to know more about these issues and the value of big bang cosmology for Christian apologetics today should consider consulting William Lane Craig’s “Reasonable Faith” book as a starting point for further exploration. It is quite good and explains the issues I have hinted at in detail.
If the Christian Chronicle is interested in an article on the value of big bang cosmology for the apologetics of the church, I would be happy to be contacted through my website.Matthew DowlingOctober, 5 2011What Does �In The Beginning� Mean To God?
Recently, I�ve heard some people stating that the earth is only six-thousand years old. They conclude that the genealogies from the Old Testament give us an accurate timeframe to determine how old the Earth is. This issue is not, by any means, a new one.
This notion had its beginning with a man named James Ussher who lived from 1581 to 1656. James Ussher was the Archbishop of Armagh. Using genealogy from the Old Testament, he concluded that the Earth was six- thousand years old. He calculated that 4,036 years BC was when God created the sky and the earth. (Ussher�s genealogy theory was presented well before modern scientific methods had been discovered.)
Some very good friends of mine believe this to be truth. My purpose of this article is not to say that I�m right and they�re wrong, but to shed some perspective on this belief.
What little knowledge I do have on this subject comes from reading books and having a degree in Environmental Studies. Using the strata layering of rock and earth, most geologists place the age of the earth at 4.54 billion years old. What strikes me as evident between a six-thousand year old earth and a 4.5 billion year old earth is that the earth appears to be older than six-thousand years. If the earth is only six-thousand years old, then God created it to look older. Why would God create the earth six-thousand years ago to look as if it was billions of years old?
Common sense would tell us that it took a long time for water erosion from the Colorado River to create the five-thousand foot deep Grand Canyon. I would suggest a very long time. There are several methods used in determining how old things are. I will address one of those methods � Carbon-14 dating. It is considered by scientists to be accurate up to approximately forty-five thousand years old. In 1947, Willard F. Libby and his team discovered this method. In 1960, Libby won the Nobel Prize for his carbon-14 dating method.
All living things contain carbon, including animals and vegetables. The Carbon-14 method is used to determine how old an item is by measuring its carbon decay rate. This method has been tested against known Archeological methods. Wood from Egyptian tombs with confirmed historical dates give proof to its reliability. Growth rings on trees dating them as 1500 years old also give proof to the method�s reliability.
Those who believe that you can date the earth using the genealogies from the Old Testament will point out that the Carbon-14 method has limitations. I agree, however, not to the extent that they would have you believe.
If you are willing to throw out the Carbon-14 method as a reliable indicator because of its limitations, then I would suggest the same can be said using genealogy from the Old Testament to date the earth. There are huge gaps of time before Abraham lived. There is no proof that the time period from Adam to Abraham was intended to be an exact chronological dating. Using genealogies before Abraham to arrive at chronological dates has many problems and is not considered by most as a reliable indicator of the age of the earth.
So, what�s the point? Simply stated, the Bible doesn�t give us a date when God created the earth. What does �In the beginning� mean to God? As Christians, we do know that God did it His way and not the way we may think or conceive He did it. We don�t have the knowledge or the right to put God in a �box� when it comes to time. God could have used the “Big Bang Theory.” We don’t know how He did it or when He did it.
2 Peter 3:8-9
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
As Christians, we believe in the Bible. God�s book is not mythology. We have proof of the places mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. Every day, archeologists are finding and digging up ruins from cities mentioned in the Bible. The Bible is historically accurate.
Places like Egypt and leaders like Pharaohs and Roman Emperors mentioned in the Bible are 100% accurate. The Carbon-14 method is used to confirm dates of artifacts dug up at these sites. The Carbon-14 method confirms the historical documentation of cities and people mentioned in the Bible. The Carbon-14 method is used to confirm the truth of the Bible.
�With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.� If you believe this you can make the assumption that God could have created a billion years into existence in one human day. God made the first man and woman fully matured adults.
I understand why some Christians feel threatened by an earth that might be billions of years old. It gives credibility to the theory of evolution. I don�t feel that way. I believe that evolution is a result of God�s creation.
We are contemporary Christians living in 2011. We see and hear about technology and new discoveries happening daily. We should be very careful not to get wrapped up in arguments that have nothing to do with the Cross of Jesus like the “Big Bang Theory.”
We must be very careful not to put God in a �box� when it comes to what �In the beginning� means. Recently I read about the discovery of fossilized human feces. DNA proved it was human and radiocarbon dating dated it at over 14,000 years old.
We can not date the earth with any certainty before Abraham using genealogy. Besides the huge gaps in time periods, doing so also involves assumptions that we can�t prove. This type of reasoning, if proven wrong, can create doubt about the Bible. The assumption might be �If the Bible is wrong about how old the earth is what else in the Bible is wrong?�Thomas SuttonOctober, 5 2011Are we confusing a sitcom with science? For the average joe riding down Yale Ave and seeing this sign … does this even make sense? The cutesy sayings on church signs most often backfire.John DobbsOctober, 6 2011–Common sense would tell us that it took a long time for water erosion from the Colorado River to create the five-thousand foot deep Grand Canyon. I would suggest a very long time.
This one sentence I would like to suggest (not that I’m agreeing or disagreeing with the rest of what you stated) could have been created in a short period of time by something like, say, a worldwide flood perhaps? Just a thought :^)Eva P. ScottOctober, 6 2011Which is more awesome: a God who called creation into existence fully formed 6,000 years ago, or a God who lovingly and patiently crafted it (and us) over millions of years?
It’s somewhat amusing to me that Filmmaker John Carpenter noted the link between “Let there be light” and the Big Bang nearly forty years ago in <a href=”https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Dark_Star_(film)” rel=”nofollow”>his student film project</a>, yet Christians still treat the Big Bang as if it were an invention of the Enemy rather than a scientific perspective on the events described in Genesis.Jonathan ClemensOctober, 6 2011This is a bit strange. The billboard is talking about a sitcom, not the actual scientific theory of the Big Bang. Why would you respond to a sitcom ad with a non-existent counterpoint about creation (Genesis 1:1)? It is not the same context and certainly indicates we aren’t paying enough attention to our culture to have a meaningful dialogue.
Suggestion: Watch the show and then talk with young adults about the show in conversation and maybe a spiritual topic might surface. Then you can spend personal time interacting with the young adult rather than an impersonal marquee that people will probably not take very seriously.K. ReuxaOctober, 7 2011I love The Big Band Theory. It is a great sitcom about nerds, geeks, outcasts, and dreamers and has a way of showing life and love in its purest form. Instead of putting up a sign, why not turn on the tv and learn what the show is about?TiaOctober, 7 2011I don’t have a strong position on the age or origins of the earth. It doesn’t really matter to me. What matters is who made it happen. Science and faith are not in conflict, they’re just answering different questions. Science asks how, while we talk about who and why. It’s so sad to see us confusing the real fight — for salvation of peoples’ souls — with a phony debate about the Big Bang theory.
Also, the church above should learn what “theory” means in science. A theory is not just someone’s idea. It’s a set of ideas for which there is a good deal of evidence.
This kind of thing is why we have a reputation for being anti-intellectual. God gave us minds, so let us use them.JamesOctober, 7 2011Speaking of tree rings: Actually, we have more than one group of trees of multiple species that display clearly either an unbroken sequence of over 10,000 years, or God’s deliberate falsification of the evidence. I, for one, would be cautious about suggesting the latter alternative.Richard RolandOctober, 7 2011Remember the Bible tells us God did it, but now how he did it. It makes no difference how the Earth came into being, only give God the credit.Jim KeeOctober, 7 2011What makes this sign worthy of a report by the Christian Chronicle?Chuck Bagby, Ph.D.October, 8 2011This marquee (not just the current statement) has generated more interest and discussion than one might imagine. People have visited services solely for what is on it. One couple who recently obeyed the gospel initially came because of it.
BTW I would encourage everyone to visit Apologetics Press’ website for excellent resources as it relates to origins, science, creation, etc. They have a whole library of pdf books you can download for free.
Why is it difficult to comprehend that God could have done exactly what he said? If Jesus can turn water directly into wine bypassing the growth, harvest, processing, and aging normally required; then why can’t God who started with nothing do it all just like he said?
Remember Jesus’ statement to Nicodemus in John 3:12 —
“If I have told you earthly things, and you do not believe, how will you believe, if I tell you heavenly things?”
Jesus corroborated the account of Adam and Eve being created “at the beginning”. He also corroborated the account of Noah’s Flood. Furthermore He corroborated the account of Jonah.
Beyond that one must understand that the Holy Spirit guided Luke to record Jesus’ genealogy all the way back to Adam. The record from Adam to Noah is more than a genealogy, it is also a chronology. The record from Seth to Abraham is a chronology as well.
Every time inspirations speaks of the creation event and gives a time frame it is consistent — “for in six days”.
The argument that a day is as a thousand years is set its head when the text goes on and says that a a thousand years is as a day.
What God said propositionally and what men interpret from their own limited observation of nature are quite different. The evolutionists have been pushing the time frame back constantly. Where Darwin insisted it would require multiple 10s of thousands has steadily grown to 10s of billions.
BTW, the first thing we should do with our minds is love the LORD our God with it all along with all our heart, soul, and strength.
The framing of the statement “lovingly and patiently crafted it (and us) over millions of years” is an emotional appeal without substance.
What folks need to realize is that quite often they are allowing their preference for or fear of science to judge God and His Word rather than the reverse. Much of science is only tentative — “this is our theory for now based on the current evidence; we will adjust it or tweak it as more is discovered.”
The Bing Bang IF it were true is a one time event in the past. It is not observable, repeatable, or testable.
NOTE: The sign made the Chronicle because it made news first.Johnny D. HintonOctober, 8 2011I have to agree with Jim Kee.
I would add that to say that the earth was 6,000 years old makes God a God of deception. Why would He give us the intelligence to discover how things were created and throw a few dinosaurs into the strata and let us discover the Carbon 14 dating method and to support it with historical fact? How can we keep telling our college bound kids that all that science stuff is fabricated? No wonder they leave.
The Big Bang theory makes it clear there was a beginning – that is what the Bible says. Atheists hate the Big Bang theory. God took his sweet time to prepare the earth for his ultimate creation – man with a spirit. Anyone interested in this subject should watch John Clayton’s first two video’s at the following website http://www.doesgodexist.tv/
I also agree with Dr, Chuck Bagby’s observationRoger BoydOctober, 8 2011“Why is it difficult to comprehend that God could have done exactly what he said?”
Leaving aside questions of interpretation of what God actually said, do you postulate a God who created a universe that intentionally deceives those who examine it, by appearing far older than it actually is? That kind of undermines the arguments from creation in Romans 1, wouldn’t you think?
Of course God has the power to have created the earth 6,000ish years ago… but then He also has the power to have created it, fully formed, with all our (false) memories intact of a world that didn’t yet exist, a fraction of a second before I typed this. The problem with any of that is it’s inconsistent with God’s character.Jonathan ClemensOctober, 8 2011This is not a science discussion, it’s a history discussion. How and when the earth and universe formed is a question that can only be answered by someone that was there at the time of its origin.
Man cannot answer this question. He can call it a “scientific” question but it really isn’t. The scientific method is obsolete in this discussion. Man has an idea derived from his own assumptions and presumptions.
If we as believers don’t look to God’s Word to answer the origin question, then there’s no reason for us to convince ourselves or anyone else to rely on the bible for anything it says.
It’s not that difficult really, you don’t have to be a scientist to listen to the Creator’s Word and to trust what He says over what man says. Rather, faith is required. And even MORE faith is required to believe in the Big Bang story.TomOctober, 9 2011Scientists say that the universe was infinitely small at the Big Bang. So small they think it may have come from some unseen dimension. They also state that the laws of physics had to be suspended or changed in some way to make what their math and observations say occurred in the beginning. Sounds like God to me. Scripture tells us that for those who don’t want to believe the truth, God would send a great delusion so that they might believe a lie (2 Thes. 2:11). There are many sites as well as my book that documents and illustrates the arguments for a young earth. From the amount of salt in the seas, the distance of the moon from the earth, where did the material eroded from the Grand Canyon go, the helium in the atmosphere and on-and-on the evidence is there.Kenneth MorvantOctober, 9 2011The Bible tells us that we will be tested. It is not deception for God to let those without faith find something to validate their non-belief. Some are leaning dangerously close to theistic evolution. Don’t let scientific theories diminish your faith. Remember, evolution is not an observable science and that is important. Six or ten thousand years as some have speculated about is nothing to quibble about among Christians. There are many problems with the scientific methods used today that scientists won’t tell you about. Faith is not totally blind, otherwise Christ would not have performed any miracles and signs.Kenneth MorvantOctober, 10 2011If we are to understand the intent and meaning of God’s Word we ought to look to “see what God says” about this or that topic rather than (perhaps subconsciously) fit our ideas into God’s Word and, therefore, reinterpret His Word.
For example, the scripture from Peter mentioned earlier:
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
What is the intent and meaning of this scripture? The principle we glean is that God is timeless…that while we our bound by time (which God created), God is not. He transcends time.
It would be entirely out of intent and context to then say that whenever God documents a reference to time (e.g., day, week, month, yearrs), that those references are meaningless because of the scripture in Peter. God’s timeless existence has absolutely nothing to do with the meaning of His references to time.
So when we see that it rained for 40 days and that Adam lived for 930 years and that God created the universe and everything in it in 6 days and that the Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years, we ought to accept what God has documented when the context and narrative approach is clear.
It’s interesting that the Peter scripture is often used to only re-define God’s explanation in Genesis 1 and no other references to time in God’s Word. So there’s inconsistent application.Tom LiebrandOctober, 10 2011God is hardly a god of deception when has directly stated in words what he did. When men refuse to include the miraculous element of the creation account and interpret their observation from an entirely naturalistic perspective, they cannot help but come to a wrong conclusion.
We know from God’s account that he created everything with the appearance of age for it was a fully running system capable of sustaining mature complex life… fruit bearing trees, animals and humans fully capable of sexual reproduction, etc.Johnny D. HintonOctober, 11 2011God is not a “God of deception.” He allows those who don’t love the truth to believe the lies (delusions 2 Thes. 2:11) that are in the world. If they want to believe in an unobservable scientific theory, God will not remove what they base their theories on nor force them to believe Him. He did not remove the deceptive serpent from the Garden, but allowed Adam and Eve the choice to believe the Creator of everything or a creation of His. God wants us to believe Him, not force us to believe. The atheist wants to see God, but what will they do if they did see Him?Kenneth MorvantOctober, 11 2011